CPR and the Disadvantaged Areas

November 6, 2012Comments Off on CPR and the Disadvantaged Areas

Unless you have been living under the rock, then you would probably be aware that the way CPR is done has undergone some changes in the last two or so years. If, in the past, CPR involves the checking of the airway. then administration of artificial breaths, and then the chest compression, today, bystanders could very well be a hero and help save someone’s life by just knowing how to do chest compressions.

It was in 2010 that the American Heart Association suggested the change from an ABC (Airway – Breathing – Compression) approach to CPR to a CAB one. This was done after studies have shown that there is a higher probability of saving a person’s life with artificial blood circulation than with respiration. This is due to the fact that the former allows the blood to circulate and bring the needed oxygen to tissues. What this does it keep the body tissues from dying, also known as tissue necrosis. Since the tissue is, somehow, kept alive, the possibility of an organ failure is kept to a minimum. Care should, however, still be taken when administering chest compressions. For one, it is not a be-all and end-all solution to each and every case of unconscious victims. First aiders would first have to ascertain that the patient has suffered a cardiac arrest. Now, although most people use cardiac arrest and heart attack interchangeably, the two are different. With cardiac arrest, the person concerned would suddenly collapse, become non-responsive, and have irregular breathing. In most cases, there could be no detectable breathing as well as pulse at all. On the other hand, heart attacks take place when something block the arteries supplying the heart. In most cases, cardiac arrest comes without warning while, in the case of heart attack, the patient may feel some chest pain or tingling sensation and numbness on his or her arms and neck.

With the role that compressions play when it comes to saving a life, most people would think that people from all walks of life would pay attention to how it should be done. In truth, however, there seems to be a lower chance of someone administering CPR, or chest compression at least, in poor areas. According to a study, Latinos and black are less likely to receive CPR compared to white victims. In addition to that, poor, black victims are 50% less likely to receive help in the form of CPR. There also seems to be a significant difference in the likelihood of getting CPR between urban, suburban and rural areas. All these figures can be attributed to a number of causes but majority can be chalked up to the fear of a bystander of doing it wrong or of being held responsible should the patient concerned not make it through. Although it can be considered as discrimination, one has to understand that, should a white person become unconscious, a black bystander might hesitate extending assistance since it might be seen in the wrong light.

It would be to your advantage if you would undergo the CPR training and certification program being offered by Citywide CPR.