Monday, November 2, 2009

How to Save a Life

This is a post I've been wanting to write for a while and since the Nikon is recharging from its busy Halloween weekend away this seems as good a day as any.

This is probably somewhat controversial and maybe you might disagree but I thought I'd put it up anyway because you never know who it may help along the way.

After watching a special on the H1N1 virus on CNN the other night (or something not Backyardigans, can't remember exactly) I learned there was a "new" way to perform CPR. Have you heard this too? It's basically ditching the breathing for chest compressions only. You do not stop the chest compressions to breathe into the victim's body. Instead you just keep pumping their heart with all your worth (literally, you should break a sweat quickly and keep going) until the paramedics arrive to take over for you. The idea is that there is enough oxygenated blood in your system (after your heart stops beating) to keep your heart and your brain alive for up to 8-10 minutes if that blood is circulated for you by way of chest compressions. There is a lot of other medical lingo to go along w/this explanation so I'll leave that link here for you to read instead of me possibly getting something wrong in the translation.

And if you're a more visual kind of learner, here's the video to go along with the article.

Hope none of you will ever have the occasion to put this to the test but at least we don't have to panic when we can't remember how many breaths to chest compressions. This approach to CPR makes it less complicated and that's never a bad thing.


Lisa said...

The pessimist in me can't help but wonder if this isn't a way to get the public out of doing breathing because of the fear of "catching" something. I wonder if more people would step up and do something if they know they don't have to put their mouths on the victims body. Afterall, the paramedics use protection...public doesn't.

Or maybe they've just now realized this oxygenated blood phenomenon.

Monica said...

I don't know.....they still make us do 15 compressions to 2 in the certification classes. You can buy barriers to keep with you in case you have to do it to a stranger.

One Sided Momma said...

lisa- part of me certainly wonders about the validity of this "new" process too. my feeling now, however, is that even if it gets one more person to administer CPR when they otherwise might not (fear of mouth-to-mouth) then it's a good thing all the way around. always good to question though, i appreciate that!

monica- yeah, it seems that many classes still recommend the breathing in addition to chest pumps so probably good to do both if you can and are able to do them correctly. if panic sets in (like it probably would for me) then it's good to know we can just go for the compressions with promising rescue results.