New rules for giving CPR

By Jamey Boyum - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Hopefully this has never happened to you, but if you see someone suffering from a heart attack, are you prepared to give CPR? Many of us have a problem with the mouth to mouth part, especially if the victim is a stranger.

Well, the American Heart Association has changed its rules about resuscitation.  They have found the most important thing to do is chest compressions, since that's what gets the blood moving. Mouth to mouth is still recommended, but not a necessity.

East Texas Medical Center  shows us the proper way to do compressions…which could save a life.

The ABC's of cardiopulmonary resuscitation have historically been clear the victim's airway, deliver rescue breaths, then chest compressions. According to Greg Lamay of East Texas Medical Center, its blood moving to the brain that keeps cells from dying. And that's why the American Heart Association is now recommending compressions first.

Lamay says, " The more emphasis we can put on compression…which is what saves people's lives…the more effective and the better the outcome potential."

"You're actually compressing the breastbone and the heart so indirectly it pumps blood flow up to the brain and other parts of the body. We never do chest compressions over clothing…get the clothing off…find the nipple line of the patient…put one heel of your hand down, put the other hand over it and then we're going to compress two inches in depth, we're going to do 100 compressions a minute. You're going to that until help arrives." Lamay stated.

…Or until the patient recovers.  He says mouth to mouth is helpful, but the main thing is keeping the blood moving. And, what about damaging the victim's ribcage?

"I would rather be alive with a few broken ribs than dead because somebody didn't want to push hard enough on my chest,"  He added.

So, the big changes are compressions,deeper and more often, in fact the Heart Association recommends doing it to the rhythm of a fast paced song, like the Bee Gee's "Staying Alive".

Over three-hundred thousand die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. CPR can double or triple a person's survival chances.

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