Monday, March 31, 2008

Save a Life (with less icky mess)

The American Heart Association announced today that CPR without mouth-to-mouth is just as effective in most cases as CPR with mouth-to-mouth. I have to admit that in my (rather extensive) training over the years I learned to be prepared to position myself quickly to be the one giving chest compressions if I ever found myself in a situation where I was one of two people about to give CPR. Why? So I wouldn't be the one having to give mouth-to-mouth (although I did carry my Laerdal breathing mask with me frequently you just know the one time you don't have it is the one time you will need it and no, I wouldn't let it prevent me from helping someone that needed it).

My instructors weren't the only ones thinking twice about the ick factor of mouth-to-mouth on a fallen stranger. The American Heart Association is hoping that the new guidelines (call 911, then give 100 chest compressions per minute until help arrives) will help bystanders to overcome any hesitation they may have had about giving mouth-to-mouth and jump in to assist immediately.

Note that the new guidelines really only apply to adults. Children and infants and adults that collapsed as a result of something impacting the lungs (gas, drowning, etc.) may still need help breathing.

And, by the way, if you haven't already done so...GO GET CERTIFIED TO SAVE A LIFE TODAY!!

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