Hopefully these new guidelines will get more people to perform chest compressions if they see someone suffering from cardiac arrest - usually where the victim just suddenly collapses. Approximately 300,000 Americans suffer cardiac arrests a year. Sadly, less than 10% of those survive. The key to increasing these odds is to get right down to pumping hard and fast on the chest, which should keep oxygenrich blood flowing to the brain until emergency personnel arrives. Without having to worry about the protocol for rescue breaths, a family member or bystander should be more comfortable administering chest compressions at a steady pace while waiting for help.
The ideal rate of compression is at least 100 times a minute - which is, coincidentally, about the same pace as the beat to the Bee Gees hit " Stayin' Alive ". A rescuer should not lean on the chest between compressions, but let the chest return to its normal position before another compression. A short web tutorial can be found at www.handsonlycpr.org . You never know when this knowledge may help you save a life.