Pacing Your CPR the Right Way
You’ve seen it in TV shows, and maybe even in movies – a brilliant but misunderstood woman pushed to the limits of her sanity decides to end it all by jumping into the ocean. Suddenly, a handsome guy comes running to save her from the crashing waves only to find the girl unconscious after having drowned form the crashing waves of water. The guy performs CPR very fast in the hopes of getting her to breathe again as soon as possible. This might be a great story for many; but in real life, this could actually spell disaster.
A new study from Belgium has found out that making very fast compressions during CPR actually does not do much help and could even be dangerous. The study was spearheaded by Dr. Koenraad Monsieurs of the Antwerp University. In order to come up with the results, Dr. Monsieurs and his colleagues made use of an accelerometer as a way to gauge the rate of chest compression as well as the depth of each. About 130 health care professionals where observed as part of this study. Some of the subjects who made about 145 compressions per minute had very shallow depths that were deemed to be unacceptable based on the 2005 European standards when it comes to CPR.
Based on the results, compressions of about 145 per minute results to a 4 cm shallower depth. This, of course, translates to lesser amount of blood flowing through the heart and the brain. You have to keep in mind that the lesser the amount of blood going to the heart and the brain, the higher the possibility of the patient suffering from dire consequences. Aside from this, the more blood there is flowing through the heart, the higher the possibility that the defibrillator would be able to jumpstart the beating if the heart.
Medical doctors and other professionals, however, do not recommend slowing down and making each compression deeper. The secret is to make sure that the compressions are delivered in a fast yet deeper manner. The delivery of the compressions should also be one wherein the responder does not get tired easily. Keep in mind that, when it comes to CPRs, the compressions and breathing should be delivered in a consistent manner. Otherwise, not only would the process be time consuming but it could also lead to adverse effects.
Current standards on CPR no longer calls for rescue breaths especially if only a bystander is near the patient. Instead, bystanders who would be performing CPR can concentrate on compressions only and just wait for emergency responders to arrive. Once the responders get to the patient, they can proceed to either defibrillating the patient or continuing with the compressions. If the bystander happens to have knowledge about CPR, he has to make sure that he starts with the compressions before addressing the airway as well as the breathing. This ensures that oxygen-rich blood is able to circulate immediately. Simply put, resuscitating a heart attack victim would call for C-A-B (Compression – Airway – Breathing) instead of the traditional A-B-C.
One way to ensure that you are doing things correctly is to undergo a CPR Training and Certification program.