Most people who experience a cardiac arrest in the community die because they do not receive immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from someone on the scene. As a bystander, do not be afraid to do something. Your actions can only help. If you are in the healthcare field, please advocate the importance of this to all the people in your life! After all, they may be the ones having to do CPR on you one day!
The hilarious video below brilliantly merges a funky beat with valuable information on how to perform hands only CPR and apply an automated external defibrillator (AED). Definitely worth the watch! All I know is that I wish I had doctors at work that went around doing this. And yes, he is an actual licensed and practicing doctor!
If you don’t have time to watch it, it basically advocates the following for when you find someone who has collapsed and is not responding:
- Call an ambulance or get someone to do it for you
- The video is American and therefore 911 is utilised (a lot); please use your local number
- Push hard and fast in the centre of the chest at approximately 100 beats per minute
- The beat in the video above is the recommended rate for compressions
- Alternatively, the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees has the same rate
- Ironically, so does the beat of “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
- Continue compressions until the ambulance arrives
- If you have an AED, don’t hesitate to use it because it will tell you exactly what to do and when to do it
Concerning mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the community, it is officially a no kiss zone! It has been for the last 8 years! As the doctor in the video above raps: “your protocol is all out of date, blowing air down the pipe is so 2008”. Starting CPR while the ambulance gets to the scene can double a person’s chance of survival. Check out the statistics of a 5 year study comparing mouth-to-mouth CPR with compression only CPR (COCPR) below. By simply taking the mouth-to-mouth component out of CPR, it is clear that more people in the community are willing to provide strangers with CPR!
The improved survival rates with compression only CPR could be attributed to:
- The compressions keeping blood flow constant with no interruptions secondary to delivering mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths
- The recoil from the compressions itself having enough force to create a negative pressure within the lungs to draw in air from the surroundings thereby mimicking what is trying to be achieved with mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths
- The simple fact that people are more willing to provide CPR when:
- They do not feel like they are putting themselves at risk of contracting something contagious from a stranger through the provision of mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths
- They understand that actual CPR in the community is simple, can be done by anyone with two hands and does not involve all those interventions often seen in medical dramas such as intubation, rhythm analysis, medication administration and manual defibrillation
Two steps to save a life; it is that simple! After all, survival rates are greatly improved with early and effective CPR. The other thing that greatly improves survival rates is early defibrillation via an AED in the community. If you have no access to an AED, just keep going with CPR until the ambulance gets there. If you have access to an AED, just follow the instructions as the AED will tell you EXACTLY what to do. It will show you where to place the AED pads, it will tell you when to stop CPR, it will tell you to press the button to provide a potentially life saving shock to the person if it recognises the person needs it and it will tell you when to start CPR again. Just don’t stop CPR until the AED tells you to do so, the ambulance gets there and trained professionals can take over, you are physically unable to perform CPR anymore or the unconscious person who you are doing CPR on wakes up with a bang and pushes you off their chest (gratefully, of course)! Remember, anything you do is going to be better than doing nothing! And don’t be afraid of hurting them; I don’t know about you, but I would rather wake up feeling sore with a few bruises than not wake up at all…
Would you be more likely to do CPR on a stranger in the community if the mouth-to-mouth component was taken out of the equation? Have you noticed any trends in community resuscitation? What are your thoughts on the matter? Please feel free to leave your comments in the section below…
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