Alternative method to CPR touted - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Alternative method to CPR touted

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 9:33 pm | Updated: 4:28 pm, Thu Feb 16, 2012.

Scottsdale’s emergency responders are spreading the word on a life-saving technique. The method is called continuous chest compressions, or CCC, and it’s an alternative to traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

VIDEO: Fire fighters teach new CPR technique

Scottsdale’s emergency responders are spreading the word on a life-saving technique. The method is called continuous chest compressions, or CCC, and it’s an alternative to traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

The Scottsdale Fire Department is offering the public ongoing seminars on how CCC works.

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CCC differs from CPR in that it bypasses mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It’s focus is on continuous chest compressions — about 100 per minute.

Paramedics say CCC is an effective way to provide aid to those in cardiac arrest until professionals arrive on the scene.

“Continuous chest compressions are easy, it works and you cannot hurt someone using it,” said Andrew McDonald, a firefighter and paramedic with the Scottsdale Fire Department.

McDonald said the technique, which the Scottsdale Fire Department has been using for more than two years, seems to appeal to good samaritans who may not know how to do traditional CPR or may be turned off at the thought of breathing into a stranger’s mouth.

McDonald said the CCC technique is quicker than the CPR method. Since the responder is not stopping to give mouth to mouth resuscitation, the continuous chest compressions allow blood to circulate in the patient’s body without interruption.

When there is a sudden collapse or cardiac event, the patient typically has sufficient oxygen in their lungs, McDonald said. The key is circulating the patient’s blood until help arrives, he said.

CCC, however, is not recommended for everyone.

McDonald said traditional CPR works best for cases involving a blocked airway, as in a drowning or choking.

And the CCC technique is only recommended for those age eight and older, as youngsters are more often affected by an airway blockage rather than a cardiac event, McDonald explained.

Anyone happening upon an emergency situation is advised to call 911 immediately and attempt resuscitation until help arrives. A 911 operator will guide the caller through the process, he said.

The same goes for someone who has never used an Automatic External Defibrillator, or AED, a portable emergency device that’s now commonly found in buildings and places where sports are played.

The AED’s technology is so advanced, McDonald said, that it will automatically make a “diagnosis” when placed on a patient’s chest and instruct its user with voice commands, on what to do next.

“It’s always better to do something than nothing,” said McDonald.

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