Your Family

Aug 6, 2010 3:10 PM by Carina Corral

This might take your breath away: S.L.O. County Red Cross weighs in on new CPR recommendations

Not CPR certified? Not a problem.

Two new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest there is still a way to perform this life saving technique, even if you are not trained to do so.


Most of us get the general idea: chest pumps and two breaths to try to get the heart beating again; however, if it came down to a real emergency, would you know what to do?

" It's one of those things: you never want to do in your life, but if you know how to do it, it's a whole lot better," said Stephen Nadolski, a CPR trainer with the San Luis Obispo County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Health experts say more than 92 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital will die from it, largely because they don't get immediate CPR from bystanders.

To increase those odds, new recommendations say forget the breaths and just start pumping.

"Breathing for another person, going mouth to mouth is always scary for some people... They are (new recommendations) for people who come out and don't know what to do. They come up to a scene where the person is unconscious, they're wanting to help out but they don't have the training," said Nadolski.

Basically, it is better than standing by and doing nothing.

And, if it helps, pump to the beat of the 1970s tune "Staying Alive," which has 103 beats per minute, close to the recommended 100 compressions per minute.

Still, though, the American Red Cross says everyone should become CPR certified.

"We still highly recommend everyone take a CPR class. Taking the class and getting trained, you're more likely to respond in an emergency cause you'll go back to your training," said Nadolski.

Full CPR can double or triple a person's survival odds.

Full CPR is still always recommended for infants and children since their cardiac arrest problems normally always have to do with a loss of oxygen.

CPR classes are now offered on-line.

Click here for a link.

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