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Stayin' alive -- delivering resuscitation messages to the public
Date:3/21/2013

pushing hard and fast at the centre of the casualty's chest, at a rate of two pushes per second to a depth of 5 to 6 cm (two inches).

The idea behind the simplified guidelines, said Hannon, is to aid the retention and acquisition of life support skills by lay people. It has been found that for untrained members of the public having to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation can get in the way of crucial chest compressions. Furthermore rescuers are more willing to give resuscitation if they don't have to provide ventilation.

While CPR alone is unlikely to restart the heart (treatment with high voltage electrical shocks, defibrillation, is needed to restore the normal heart rhythm), its main purpose is to restore flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart and extend the brief window for a successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage. Typically, blood contains five to seven minutes worth of oxygen and the effect of constant fast chest compressions is to keep that oxygen moving to the brain and other vital organs. "The idea of CPR is to buy valuable time before the defibrillator arrives," said Hannon. Guidelines additionally state that bystanders who are trained and willing should combine chest compressions with rescue breathing at a ratio of 30 compressions to two breaths. In children, since 70% of out of hospital cardiac arrests are asphyxia in origin, survival rates are better if they are provided with both chest compressions and ventilations. "But even here hands only CPR is better than nothing," stressed Hannon.


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Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu
press@escardio.org
33-492-947-756
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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