Easier CPR can save lives

March 31, 2008 3:52:04 PM PDT
Saving lives could be getting easier, using CPR. The American Heart Association has announced changes to their CPR guidelines, that make it easier for every-day people to jump into action.

When someone's heart stops from cardiac arrest, giving CPR, cardiopulmonary rescucitation, can double or triple their chances of survival.

The problem is only one-third of those who collapse in public receive CPR.

So now the American Heart Association is trying to change that.. by making CPR easier


For years, the standard guidelines included both mouth-to-mouth resusitation and chest compressions.

But now the AHA says doing chest compressions alone - after calling 9-1-1 is just as beneficial.

Dr. Benjamin Abella, a specialist in emergency and rescucitative medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, says, "So this is very good news to the extent that now bystanders who find a victim of cardiac arrest can try to save a life without having to worry about mouth-to-mouth or touching a stranger that way."

Dr. Abella says for healthcare professionals, CPR won't change.

And for lay people certified in CPR, they should also follow what they know, unless they're not comfortable with the breathing component--then they too can just push hard and fast on a victim's chest until help arrives.

The hope is that fewer lives will be lost.

Hillary Barnes, R..N., a nurse at the hospital, feels the change will encourage more people to get trained in CPR. Plus, she says, "I think it'll empower more people to be able to do CPR properly."

Compressions-only CPR is only for adults-not for kids and infants.