Physicians fire back at former Sen. Rick Santorum: 'CPR doesn't work if all the blood is on the ground'

Physicians and surgeons nationwide took to social media to question former Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum's message urging students to learn CPR in the event of a mass shooting instead of protesting gun violence, according to The Washington Post.

During a panel for CNN, Mr. Santorum discussed the March for Our Lives protest, which drew more than 800,000 people to Washington, D.C., March 24 to protest gun violence. Many of the marchers were students, including teenagers from Parkland, Fla.-based Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 individuals were killed during a mass shooting Feb. 14.

"How about kids, instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations where there is a violent shooter and you can actually respond to that?" Mr. Santorum said. "[The protesters] took action to ask someone to pass a law. They didn't take action to say, 'How do I as an individual deal with this problem? How am I gonna do something about stopping bullying in my community? What am I gonna do to actually help respond to a shooter?'"

However, physicians and other healthcare professionals questioned Mr. Santorum's claims. Heather Sher, MD, a radiologist at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based North Broward Radiologists who reportedly examined the gunshot wounds of at least one Marjory Stoneman Douglas victim, tweeted March 25 Mr. Santorum's comments were "gobsmackingly uninformed."

"CPR is not effective with catastrophic bleeding," Dr. Sher wrote on Twitter.

"Mr. Santorum, CPR doesn't work if all the blood is on the ground. This is a dangerous and wrong message," Jo Buyske, MD, executive director of the American Board of Surgery, tweeted March 25.

To access The Washington Post report, click here.

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