Heart Association offers CPR guidelines - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

Heart Association offers CPR guidelines

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Posted: Monday, November 28, 2005 1:07 pm | Updated: 8:20 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

DALLAS - In a radical change from the way everyday people do CPR, new recommendations urge many more chest compressions.

The revised guidelines issued Monday by the American Heart Association on cardiopulmonary resuscitation change the ratio of chest compressions to rescue breaths from 15 compressions for every two rescue breaths to 30 compressions for every two rescue breaths.

And while the guidelines advocate a "back to basics" approach for the public, they recommend that emergency personnel get more high-tech by cooling cardiac arrest patients for 12 to 24 hours to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Two significant studies have shown that such cooling resulted in improved survival and brain function for those who were comatose after initial resuscitation.

More than 300,000 Americans die each year of cardiac arrest, when the heart suddenly stops beating. The heart association estimates that more than 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before they get to the hospital.

Studies show that the chest compressions create more blood flow through the heart to the rest of the body, buying time until a defibrillator can be used or the heart can pump blood on its own. Studies have also shown that blood circulation increases with each chest compression and must be built back up after an interruption, the association says in its online journal Circulation.

"Since the 2000 guidelines, research has strengthened our emphasis on effective CPR as a critically important step in helping save lives," said Dr. Robert Hickey, chair of the American Heart Association's Emergency Cardiovascular Care programs.

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