New CPR Technique Expected to Save More Lives

August 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

When someone has a sudden cardiac arrest, his or her survival may depend greatly on getting immediate CPR from someone nearby. Unfortunately, less than one-third of people who experience a cardiac arrest at home, work or in public get that crucial help. Now the American Heart Association (AHA) says more lives can be saved using the new Hands-Only™ CPR method.

For decades people were taught to do a combination of chest compressions and rescue breathing, or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when someone’s heart suddenly stops. That’s known as CPR. But two new studies show that CPR done with chest compressions alone does as good a job, perhaps even better, than the traditional method.

The AHA says the Hands-Only life-saving technique is easier to learn and to perform, and reduces worries that some people have about mouth-to-mouth contact.

If you are faced with a life-saving situation, the first thing to do is call 911. Then to perform hands-only CPR, push hard and fast in the center of the chest with minimal interruptions. Don’t be afraid or worry you may do something wrong or make things worse. Your actions can only help. Any attempt at CPR is better than no attempt at all.

Hands-Only CPR performed by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth breaths in the first few minutes of an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Conventional CPR may be better for certain victims, though, such as infants and children, adults who are found already unconscious and not breathing normally, or victims of drowning, drug overdose or collapse due to breathing problems.

Click here to see Hands-Only CPR in action.

Entry filed under: To Your Health.

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