28 November 2005

Push Hard Push Fast

The guidelines for administering CPR are being simplified and changed.

[T]he American Heart Association now urges people to give 30 compressions -- instead of 15 -- for every two rescue breaths. . . . the advice is the same for all ages -- 30 compressions -- and you don't have to stop to check for improvement. What's important is to keep the blood flowing. . . .

More than 300,000 Americans die from it each year. About 75 percent to 80 percent of all cardiac arrests outside a hospital happen at home, and effective CPR can double a victim's chance of survival.

"The most common reason many people die from cardiac arrest is no one nearby knows CPR . . . For the bystander that witnesses a collapse, the main danger is inaction."

More than 9 out of 10 cardiac arrest victims die before they get to the hospital, the heart association estimates.

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