Wednesday, November 30, 2005

CPR: It Could Save a Life

Travis pointed me to this article about changes to the recommendations for CPR. It seems that chest compressions are relatively more important than had been previously known and that the efficacy of second and third AED shocks is lower than experts thought. The key quote from the article is:
Chest compressions must be deep and the rescuer must allow for complete recoil of the chest after each compression. The panel said this 'back-to-basics' approach should help boost uniformity in emergency care, which has included too many ventilations, too may interruptions, and not enough focus on chest compressions.
Another interesting data point on the subject: My girlfriend Lori, works in an intensive care unit and has to perform chest compressions on coding patients from time to time. In an ICU setting, the medical staff can monitor the patient’s heart rhythm while performing the compressions. According to Lori, rescuers need to perform the chest compressions much harder and deeper than most people simulate in CPR instruction in order for the monitors to indicate acceptable circulation. In fact, if CPR is preformed properly, the rescuer should be very tired after five minutes of compressions.

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