Iowans who know C-P-R may need to take a refresher course after new studies find there’s a different, easier way to help save a life. The American Heart Association says you can forgo mouth-to-mouth and concentrate just on chest compressions in certain cases of heart attacks in adults.
Experts say hands-only C-P-R works as well as standard C-P-R in those cases, using rapid, deep presses on the chest until help arrives. Kevin Teale, spokesman for the American Red Cross regional office in Des Moines, says his agency offers a similar type of C-P-R training.
Teale says the concept is the same in that it is C-P-R without the breaths and is strictly chest compressions used in extremely limited situations. He says the hands-only C-P-R would -not- be recommended in cases like near-drownings or a drug overdose, as they wouldn’t have enough oxygen in their systems to be sent through the blood. Teale says hands-only technique is for when you witness the person collapse.
"The theory is that after a person first collapses, there’s still enough oxygen in the bloodstream that if you started chest compressions, you’d keep oxygen flowing to the vital organs in the body without needing the breath compressions until certified medical personnel arrive on the scene," Teale explains.
It’s hoped Good Samaritans will be more likely to help a person who’s just collapsed using this easier C-P-R technique. It’s simple, easy to remember, and doesn’t involve having to do mouth-to-mouth on a stranger. Call 800-Red Cross for details on taking a course to learn the life-saving skill.