Thursday, October 7, 2010
Compression Only CPR! (aka., "Annie, Annie, can you hear me now?")
While we are on the topic of hearts, I want to share the results of a study recently published in JAMA: Chest Compression–Only CPR by Lay Rescuers and Survival From Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
What are the results? Basically, that laypeople performing simple chest compressions were actually MORE effective than laypeople doing traditional CPR (with compressions and breaths).
Why is this good news? Many people shy away from performing CPR, even if they are trained, because of the whole mouth-to-mouth part. If we can encourage people to simply do chest compressions and not worry about the breathing part, I believe we will have more volunteers when the occasion of a "sudden death" arises.
There has been much chatter about this study within the medical community. Only roughly 10% of people who receive CPR survive after resuscitation (in the out of hospital setting.) It is believed that merely a third of people who NEED CPR receive it, so we need to do whatever we can to increase that number. Please, if you see me clutch my chest and pass out, and I'm on the ground out cold with no heartbeat, try SOMETHING!
BOTTOM LINE: Don't shy away from performing CPR just because you are afraid of mouth-to-mouth; start those chest compressions while someone else calls 911, and keep 'em going till the EMS arrives!