Imagine you are entertaining friends at your house. Suddenly, someone grabs their chest and collapses. There are no doctors in the house. What do you do? These critical seconds before emergency personnel reach the person can and do make a difference between life and death. It is imperative to think clearly and decisively when faced with an emergency situation. New guidelines released by the American Heart Association (AHA) will hopefully lead to more clear and decisive action when someone experiences cardiac arrest.
Many people learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when they were young, but the AHA now recommends a change in the way CPR is administered. According to the AHA, the traditional form of CPR, where chest compressions are performed in conjunction with mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths, should be replaced with chest compressions only. Not only does the new technique work more effectively, but it takes away the need to, in some cases, touch lips with a complete stranger. A spokesman for the AHA, Dr. Michael Sayre, says recent studies have shown that CPR without rescue breathing works as well as or better than the full version in most people who suffer cardiac arrest.