Friday, October 28, 2011

Maintaining CPR Certification

Dijukno for years, anyone learning Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was taught the "ABC"?: Check the airway for blockages, give breaths, then circulate the blood. New guidelines issued by the American Heart Association changed it to
CAB; a shift that has led emergency responders to emphasize compression of the chest over all else when treating victims of cardiac arrest.

The new catch-phrase is "C-A-B". Start pushing on the chest is now the recommendation as your immediate first response for resuscitation. The AHA guidelines also uphold a 2008 recommendation that untrained responders call 911, but then forget rescue breathing completely, and simply press on the victim's chest until help arrives.

Going a step beyond that, the 2010 AHA guidelines "strongly recommend" that 911 dispatchers guide callers in "compression-only" CPR. However, medical professionals and trained lay people are still urged to give the victim two "rescue breaths" in between each series of 30 chest compressions.

All the changes apply only to adult victims who collapse of cardiac arrest; artificial respiration is still recommended for children and for adults in a few cases, including near-drowning and drug overdose.

The science behind the changes is simple. In an adult who has been breathing normally, for several minutes even after cardiac arrest there is enough oxygen in the bloodstream to maintain the heart and brain, as long as compressions circulate that oxygen.
In this scenario, pausing to provide oxygen through rescue breaths is not only unnecessary, but harmful because it requires the rescuer to stop pressing on the chest for at least several seconds.

The new guidelines also call for faster and more forceful compressions than in the past. The new standard is to compress the chest at least two inches on each push, at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

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