It’s now easier than ever to save a life!
New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports on a Swedish study of 9000 witness arrests showing that just chest compressions alone – no mouth to mouth involved – literally increased the chances of survival as much as three fold.
A witness arrest is defined as a cardiac arrest that takes place in the presence of another person: the witness. The study found that just having someone there to perform chest compressions can improve survival rates dramatically.
This is good news for people who perhaps can’t remember everything they learned in their CPR class or took their instructions long ago. There is always an element of hesitation or fear that you are not performing the CPR to the letter exactly.
Essentially, it’s really a matter of proper location. When you know where the sternum lies and are pressing on the sternum hard enough you will keep the blood circulating and get blood to the brain.
If more people learned that they just have to do chest compressions when they are hesitant to place their mouth on another individual or can’t remember the breath to compressions ratios, then it may give them the confidence to act and act quickly.
Dr. Leif Svensson, coauthor of the study says, “If you don’t have the knowledge,
act anyway. You cannot harm anyone by doing just chest compression.”
No Need To Hesitate
So instead of standing around and feeling hesitant to act, you can possibly save a life by intervening and performing simple, but effective chest compressions on the sternum – 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand etc… (one per second) with no mouth to mouth and keep pressing fast until help arrives.
Even more good news is that the Heart and Stroke Foundation now has a ‘Learn at Home’ kit that you can order off their website. If you cannot register for a class, this will allow you and your family to learn the basics of CPR in the comfort of your home and re-enact typical scenarios.
This is an important message to get out and it is certainly a message of hope.
The researchers showed that bystander CPR before medical intervention arrives more than doubles the odds of the victim surviving a cardiac arrest.. In fact, the 30-day survival rate was highest when CPR was initiated within three minutes of a person’s collapse.
40,000 Canadians suffer from cardiac arrest every year in this country and over 1/2 of the incidences occur outside of the hospital. Unfortunately, this reduces the survival rate to only 10-15% and even less survive to a meaningful recovery. Statistics show that only about a third occur when someone else is there to see the cardiac arrest take place and can intervene.
Call 911 so that Emergency Medical Services can be activated and respond immediately. Also, using your cell phone and keeping it with someone close by will help responders find your location easier.
Our staff recertifies their CPR every year and we have seen CPR guidelines change many times over the past 30 plus years. One of the best changes we have witnessed has been the ease of access and use of the defibrillator. Survival rates for cardiac arrest victims can exceed 90% if defibrillation is started in the first one to two minutes. You can find them in many public places now, including our office.
Although it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the use of a defibrillator, it is actually designed in such a manner that anyone who can follow audio instructions can use it with ease and there are many Youtube Video that you can watch if you want to learn more.
Here’s to saving lives,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team