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Sudden Cardiac Arrest- Chest Pushes Alone Increase Survival

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, April 01, 2008 12:51 AM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Heart Attack, Defibrillators, Defective Drugs, Wrongful Death, Cardiac Arrest

The hands-only method of delivering CPR during a heart attack is endorsed by the American Heart Association in revised guidelines.

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IMAGE SOURCE:  WikiMediaCommons/ Cardiopulmonary resuscitation/ Rama

You see someone collapsed in an apparent cardiac crisis.

Most people will stand there and gawk but fast-thinkers should not hesitate to jump in and give the person chest compressions, even if they aren’t trained professions, said the American Heart Association (AHA) on Monday.

In a revised issuance of its guidelines, the AHA is encouraging anyone to deliver “hands-only” CPR, leaving out the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation part of cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The worst thing is inaction.

Here is what you do – first call 9-1-1.  Then deliver short hard and fast pushes to the center of the person’s chest at a rate of about 100 per minute.  What you are doing is helping the person maintain their vital blood flow. Keep up the chest pushing until emergency medics arrive.

"The thing that's killing people is inaction," said Dr. Michael Sayre of Ohio State University, who headed the association's team that drafted the new recommendations told Reuters.

"Today in the United States, less than a third of victims of sudden cardiac arrest get any form of CPR. Anything that would increase that is bound to save lives," Sayre said in a telephone interview.

"We want the general public to know that even if they've never been trained, they can help victims of sudden cardiac arrest."

Many people are afraid they will make the person worse.  “You can’t make them any worse” says Dr. Sayre.

The guidelines were revised after three studies last year showed hands-on was as good as traditional CPR that involves mouth-to-mouth coupled with chest pushes.

This type of CPR administered by a bystander can double or triple the person’s chances of surviving. 

Annually more than 300,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting. Brain death starts four to six minutes after sudden cardiac arrest if there is no CPR.

The majority – 94 percent – die before ever reaching the hospital.

This recommendation is for cardiac arrest adults only - not for babies and children or for drowning, drug overdoses or carbon monoxide poisoning.  These people need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in order to get air into their lungs.  #


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