Medical Procedure During Mass


#1

Not sure where else to put this, so here it goes.

Earlier at morning mass today, the priest was ending the mass when a man sitting in a motorized wheelchair began to slouch as if he had become unconscious. With him were three other parishioners who tried to wake him back up but were unsuccessful. This man was stopped in front of the tabernacle and in the view of other Catholics, who were also watching. I left my pew after hesitation in case CPR was needed, but thankfully when I was halfway there, the man lifted his head back up. However, this gives me several questions, should he have required CPR:

At the end of mass:

Should the man be moved out of the sanctuary before administering CPR in respect for the Blessed Sacrament and to prevent drawing attention away from the altar and the tabernacle?

If it is permissible to perform CPR in the front of the sanctuary (the spot where the man's head fell), should the others in the sanctuary be evacuated to a different location?

What procedures should be taken if another mass will begin in the church before paramedics can arrive?

What other procedures, outside the standard breath-compression steps required for CPR, should be taken in regards to the surrounding environment?

Shortly before or during mass:

Should the man be moved to a different location before performing CPR, where every second matters, even if he's in the middle of a large sanctuary?

What other procedures, outside the standard breath-compression steps required for CPR, should be taken in regards to the surrounding environment?


#2

[quote="John_17, post:1, topic:307721"]
Not sure where else to put this, so here it goes.

Earlier at morning mass today, the priest was ending the mass when a man sitting in a motorized wheelchair began to slouch as if he had become unconscious. With him were three other parishioners who tried to wake him back up but were unsuccessful. This man was stopped in front of the tabernacle and in the view of other Catholics, who were also watching. I left my pew after hesitation in case CPR was needed, but thankfully when I was halfway there, the man lifted his head back up. However, this gives me several questions, should he have required CPR:

At the end of mass:

Should the man be moved out of the sanctuary before administering CPR in respect for the Blessed Sacrament and to prevent drawing attention away from the altar and the tabernacle?

If it is permissible to perform CPR in the front of the sanctuary (the spot where the man's head fell), should the others in the sanctuary be evacuated to a different location?

What procedures should be taken if another mass will begin in the church before paramedics can arrive?

What other procedures, outside the standard breath-compression steps required for CPR, should be taken in regards to the surrounding environment?

Shortly before or during mass:

Should the man be moved to a different location before performing CPR, where every second matters, even if he's in the middle of a large sanctuary?

What other procedures, outside the standard breath-compression steps required for CPR, should be taken in regards to the surrounding environment?

[/quote]

I think this is a good place to recall that Our Lord healed people on the Sabbath, one of the things that got Him into trouble with the Jewish authorities of the day.

I think it would be best to administer to the patient's needs in the best way possible. If that means not losing precious seconds and attempting to revive him on the spot then so be it. How can Our Lord in any way be offended by two of His children attending to one of His sick children and restoring life to him?


#3

As you said, every second matters when administering CPR. I would definitely NOT waste time moving him, unless and until qualified medical personnel were there and said it would be best to do so. If someone is offended by a life being saved in front of the tabernacle, shame on them.


#4

You do whatever makes the most sense given the situation.

Some patients should be attended at the exact location were the medical incident occurs. Others will probably have to be moved a few feet because they are in a location where there is no space to examine them or administer medical aid prodedures.


#5

I don't think there is any issue with paramedics administering to someone during Mass. I have actually seen it happen on two different occasions. The priest continued Mass, the paramedics stabalized the person and took them away.

In the case you described, I assume the person would need to be taken out of the wheelchair in order to administer CPR if mecessary. If there was room to lay him down and help him there, than that's what needed to be done.

If there wasn't/isn't room, the person may need to be moved. This is true if they are in church or somewhere else. It isn't because CPR can't be administered in front of the sanctuary.

I also think that common sense dictates that if this happens at the end of Mass, that the next Mass be delayed in starting until the paramedics have finished. Usually there is at least 1/2 hour between Masses anyway, which would hopefully be enough time.


#6

This need at a Mass I was assisting at as a deacon. It was in the middle of the Our Father. The priest left the sanctuary, went to the ambry, got the Oil of the Sick, and anointed him right there while paramedics arrived. Then he came back and finished Mass.


#7

I say, make as quickly as possible get him the care he needs! If he needs CPR in the middle of the church, so be it!


#8

Personally, I would clear out spectators. Get help from those you need, but you don’t need an audience.


#9

At the Mass, we are present at Calvary.

There were probably people that day in history who suffered various physical ailments during the horrific crucifixion and death of the Lord Jesus. I would think that their friends and relatives gave them aid then. We should do the same today.


#10

Plug for every parish having one or more AEDs available...


#11

[quote="buc_fan33, post:6, topic:307721"]
This need at a Mass I was assisting at as a deacon. It was in the middle of the Our Father. The priest left the sanctuary, went to the ambry, got the Oil of the Sick, and anointed him right there while paramedics arrived. Then he came back and finished Mass.

[/quote]

This is AWESOME!

[quote="PaulinVA, post:10, topic:307721"]
Plug for every parish having one or more AEDs available...

[/quote]

DEFINITELY!!!


#12

I would start CPR immediately (no matter where the person is), motion for one of the other medical professionals who frequent our Mass to come help me, and send someone else for the AED. I would ask the ushers to clear the immediate area 1) so that EMS could get to the person easily, and 2) for the person's privacy. If the next Mass will begin before the paramedics can take the patient away, the ushers should keep people out of the way. If it's not a CPR situation, the person might be able to be moved to another location to allow for people to come and go as needed.


#13

[quote="John_17, post:1, topic:307721"]

Should the man be moved out of the sanctuary before administering CPR in respect for the Blessed Sacrament and to prevent drawing attention away from the altar and the tabernacle?

[/quote]

The Mass was made for man, not man for the Mass. Did Jesus not heal during the Sabbath? Why should we not save a man's life in the middle of the Mass inside the Sanctuary if that is where the man is?

[quote="John_17, post:1, topic:307721"]

If it is permissible to perform CPR in the front of the sanctuary (the spot where the man's head fell), should the others in the sanctuary be evacuated to a different location?

[/quote]

Why do they need to be evacuated?

[quote="John_17, post:1, topic:307721"]

What procedures should be taken if another mass will begin in the church before paramedics can arrive?

[/quote]

Obviously postpone the Mass.

[quote="John_17, post:1, topic:307721"]

What other procedures, outside the standard breath-compression steps required for CPR, should be taken in regards to the surrounding environment?

[/quote]

The priest can administer Anointing.


#14

[quote="John_17, post:1, topic:307721"]
Not sure where else to put this, so here it goes.

Earlier at morning mass today, the priest was ending the mass when a man sitting in a motorized wheelchair began to slouch as if he had become unconscious. With him were three other parishioners who tried to wake him back up but were unsuccessful. This man was stopped in front of the tabernacle and in the view of other Catholics, who were also watching. I left my pew after hesitation in case CPR was needed, but thankfully when I was halfway there, the man lifted his head back up. However, this gives me several questions, should he have required CPR:

At the end of mass:

Should the man be moved out of the sanctuary before administering CPR in respect for the Blessed Sacrament and to prevent drawing attention away from the altar and the tabernacle?

If it is permissible to perform CPR in the front of the sanctuary (the spot where the man's head fell), should the others in the sanctuary be evacuated to a different location?

What procedures should be taken if another mass will begin in the church before paramedics can arrive?

What other procedures, outside the standard breath-compression steps required for CPR, should be taken in regards to the surrounding environment?

Shortly before or during mass:

Should the man be moved to a different location before performing CPR, where every second matters, even if he's in the middle of a large sanctuary?

What other procedures, outside the standard breath-compression steps required for CPR, should be taken in regards to the surrounding environment?

[/quote]

Considering this happened to an elderly priest during a Mass about 15 years ago, and you better believe that the parishioners went directly to his aide. Is it only OK for a priest, and not a parishioner? The priest leads in worship but also worships with us. I would say if it was safe for the person in distress to move out of the Sanctuary area, then so be it, but if not, Think of Jesus performing miracles during the sabboth day...Seems similar to me. When we are at Mass and there is an unfortunate incident as this...I thought directly of Fr. Anselm (the elderly priest who was saved from intervention) AND the Bible talking about the confrontations with the Pharisee's during the sabboth day and clearly in the synogouge....also, the less people involved in the chaos of someone getting extremely sick during Mass, the better...this is the Nurse in me speaking...Just people who can actually help the situation rather than being a spectator of sorts. I think clearing out the Church quickly and calling 911 would be the best way to handle this. If there is another Mass to begin...obviously you don't kick a seriously ill person off to the side so Mass can start EXACTLY on time. I am going exclusively to an Eastern Church now, so we only have one Divine Liturgy per week (besides daily, but no vigil) Many areas in this world don't even have a priest in their travelling distance...So, if someone is receiving medical treatment (not all 911 responders are Catholic, and the person in distress is their concern.) As they are under doctor's orders in everything they do as far as treatments and medications...their personal career is at stake...they will NOT want someone moved. You don't know as the person is unconsious what is going on and the professiobnals need to decide on treatment once called. We are spoiled in this country to have multiple Masses. People who wanted to attend "the next Mass" can probably go elsewhere that one week, or if not, have special dispensation as their intent was to make Mass (again, only if there's that one church in the area they can get to...just like when I'm sick, I don't go to Mass with a fever or the flu, disregarding everyone else for me.


#15

[quote="constantinetg, post:13, topic:307721"]
the mass was made for man, not man for the mass. Did jesus not heal during the sabbath? Why should we not save a man's life in the middle of the mass inside the sanctuary if that is where the man is?

Why do they need to be evacuated?

Obviously postpone the mass.

The priest can administer anointing.

[/quote]

very well put!!


#16

[quote="buc_fan33, post:6, topic:307721"]
This need at a Mass I was assisting at as a deacon. It was in the middle of the Our Father. The priest left the sanctuary, went to the ambry, got the Oil of the Sick, and anointed him right there while paramedics arrived. Then he came back and finished Mass.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

Now, that's Catholic!


#17

When you think about it, a medical emergency occurred during the execution of Jesus, although not while He was on the cross.

On the road to Calvary, Jesus, who was exhausted from the beatings and blood loss, fell. The procession was halted, and a bystander from the crowd was commanded to help Jesus carry the heavy cross.

I doubt that Jesus was helped up in a compassionate way, and if someone from the crowd did try to gently help Jesus up and dress His Wounds (from the beatings), I'm guessing that the soldiers wouldn't let them help Him.

So perhaps if someone becomes ill during the Mass, we should always help that person in honor of Jesus and the via dolorasa.


#18

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