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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

“During CPR, Locking Lips May Not Be Necessary” – Less To Know, Easier To Learn Is Good News

July 29th, 2010 · No Comments

Two new studies released yesterday indicate that doing “hands-only” CPR without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is just as effective. That’s good news as it is widely believed that a hesitancy to do rescue breaths keeps people from attempting the procedure.

A NPR story, “During CPR, Locking Lips May Not Be Necessary,” explains:

Many people are uncomfortable with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, so they don’t attempt CPR at all. And when they do, they interrupt chest compressions too long to do rescue breathing.

Scientists now think that chest compressions are more crucial, because immediately after the heart stops, the blood contains residual oxygen for a few minutes. Circulating this blood — until the EMTs arrive and can begin more effective oxygen supplementation — is probably more important.

Another advantage to a more streamlined form of citizen CPR: It’s easier to coach over the phone. So the EMTs who field 911 calls will be more likely to persuade bystanders to try CPR.

Making CPR easier to do — as well as to learn and then renew — is a topic that has frequently come up on the blog. Don’t tell anyone but my CPR certification has expired, and I need to take the refresher course.

A CPR training held by the Red Cross of Greater New York where I took my course.

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Tags: Red Cross

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