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CPR without the P
March 31, 2008 5:53 PM   Subscribe

New research has found that chest compressions without mouth to mouth resuscitation can be equally or more effective than with them. The American Heart Association is recommending that everyone learn this two step"Hands-Only CPR." (video)

[Previously]

Learn full CPR

I just hope a lot of deep sleepers don't end up with broken ribs.
posted by brevator (36 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also related (and fascinating.)
posted by mek at 6:02 PM on March 31, 2008


How do you do research on this kind of thing?
posted by smackfu at 6:04 PM on March 31, 2008


So by never being able to remember the old, ineffective method, I've saved hundreds of lives?

Ignorance wins again!
posted by DU at 6:16 PM on March 31, 2008


How do you do research on this kind of thing?

Well, you go around and tell everyone within a certain community that you'd like to research a new resuscitation method. You publicize it as much as possible and you either have it be an opt-in or an opt-out program. You'd probably go to high-risk communities first, so nursing homes would be high on my list.
They did this in my area a few years ago where they wanted to test an oxygen carrying fluid that they could infuse instead of saline. I believe it was an opt-in study. Of course after people started having stroke like symptoms they stopped the study.
posted by brevator at 6:16 PM on March 31, 2008


I was told in my certification classes that refinements in technique were why my cards were only good for two or three years. I've been uncertified now for about ten years - whether the procedure was the same or not I'm way overdue for a new class.

Thanks brevator for getting my attention wrt that.
posted by djeo at 6:17 PM on March 31, 2008


I need to get 'do not resuscitate' tattooed on my chest. I think I'd rather die than wake up with all my ribs broken.
posted by mullingitover at 6:27 PM on March 31, 2008


Forget broken ribs. What if you aren't wearing clean underwear!
posted by DU at 6:30 PM on March 31, 2008


How come I knew about this two years ago? Also, what does this mean for two person CPR?
posted by furtive at 6:34 PM on March 31, 2008


Also, what does this mean for two person CPR?

Well, they still recommend doing pulmonary resuscitation if you know how (and I would add if you have a mouth guard or some other barrier device, people tend to vomit when they die). It's also good to have other people around because CPR is very tiring.
posted by brevator at 6:41 PM on March 31, 2008


This is highly worthwhile post, and brevator is to be commended. It may turn out to be as significant as the Heimlich Maneuver in saving lives. Frankly, it should be sidebarred.

However, I would be remiss in posting a comment that did not include an attempt at humor, or at least an oblique, self-promoting anecdote...

Years ago, an old girlfriend and I consented to engage in old school mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. That is, I pinched her nostrils closed, placed my mouth on hers, and insufflated her lungs with my own breath. We were both totally conscious, of course, though alcohol may have been involved. All I can tell you is that it's really freaky. Inflating someone else's lungs is not like blowing up a balloon or Resusci Annie. She found it highly unusual, too, though not aversive or uncomfortable.

I don't know, maybe the BME crowd is two steps ahead of me on this...
posted by Tube at 6:46 PM on March 31, 2008


All I can tell you is that it's really freaky.

That's what I understand.

Long ago, I may have done this through a girlfriend's nose. She may have been trying to fight me off.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:56 PM on March 31, 2008


If you haven't inflated your children while playing with them, you aren't raising them right.
posted by DU at 7:06 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I need to get 'do not resuscitate' tattooed on my chest. I think I'd rather die than wake up with all my ribs broken." posted by mullingitover

Ah, don't bother. The average person doing CPR probably isn't going to remove your shirt and wouldn't know what that meant even if they saw it. And those of us in EMS aren't going to honor your tattoo's request anyway. But yeah, broken ribs are no fun at all...
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:24 PM on March 31, 2008


I'd rather wake up with my ribs all broken, honestly.
posted by yhbc at 8:28 PM on March 31, 2008


The teacher of my the last CPR class I took threw out a statistic that something like 80% of CPR that doesn't involve use of a defibrillator does not end well (DOA).
posted by Burhanistan at 8:28 PM on March 31, 2008



The teacher of my the last CPR class I took threw out a statistic that something like 80% of CPR that doesn't involve use of a defibrillator does not end well (DOA).


Still that's one in five dead people who were brought back. But yes, early defibrillation is very important. Another good reason to learn full CPR, you'll learn to use an AED.
posted by brevator at 8:44 PM on March 31, 2008


"Experts hope bystanders will now be more willing to jump in and help if they see someone suddenly collapse. Hands-only CPR is simpler and easier to remember and removes a big barrier for people skittish about the mouth-to-mouth breathing."

It sounds like they're not saying this technique is better, but that more people will be likely to use it.
posted by twirlypen at 8:54 PM on March 31, 2008


In my last CPR class, they told us that we should no longer bother checking for a pulse, just go strait for CPR rather than trying mouth-to-mouth first. Which is useful and simpler, but I do with they'd keep changing the rules...it just reinforces my theory that they don't have a clue what they're talking about.
posted by Jimbob at 9:36 PM on March 31, 2008


The health teacher in my old school has a wall of clippings of people saved by his students over the last decade who. He requires every student to get cpr certified to pass. Pretty impressive. For a small school, I was surprised by how many clippings there were. People must be dropping like flies when I'm not looking.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 9:37 PM on March 31, 2008


Thankfully, you could train a chicken to use an AED.
posted by puke & cry at 9:42 PM on March 31, 2008


You could train me to use an AED on a chicken. Mmmm...fried chicken.

And for those that didn't read all the articles, the all-compression CPR technique only applies to adults. If you are doing CPR on a child or infant, the older techniques involving both compressions and breaths are recommended.

The reasoning, as I read it, is that adults are likely to need CPR because of a heart attack. Their lungs are fine and full of oxygen and it is often the case that they will gasp during compressions which allows for a minimal amount of oxygen anyway. Children, on the other hand, aren't as likely to be heart attack victims and are more likely to need CPR for breathing-related issues so supplemental breathes are more important.
posted by afflatus at 10:22 PM on March 31, 2008


And remember you can try this on your pets as well.
posted by binturong at 10:37 PM on March 31, 2008


It's also unfortunately the case that a significant number of people who suffer a heart attack and are revived go on to die later or suffer a significantly lower quality of life due to significant damage to their heart. TV shows where people are almost always revived and always all is well afterwards are misleading. Even in hospitals, your quality of life is pretty likely to need hard work to recover.

That said, some people making it is better than no people making it, so still, please learn CPR - you're most likely to end up using it on someone you know. Just don't be heart broken yourself if you don't succeed in saving their life, real life is not TV.

Me? I'd take being alive with broken ribs than dead with unbroken ribs. Broken ribs may be uniquely painful, but they will heal eventually. You don't heal from being dead.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:23 AM on April 1, 2008


I also promise to lay off the word 'significant' for the next 24 hour period. I think I've used my quota for the day.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:26 AM on April 1, 2008



And remember you can try this on your pets as well.


I successfully did CPR on a newborn puppy once. My sister still has the dog. It still makes me happy to think about the little guy snuffling his first breaths.
posted by kamikazegopher at 12:46 AM on April 1, 2008


They really shouldn't release stuff like this on April Fools' Day.
posted by Optamystic at 12:54 AM on April 1, 2008


And remember you can try this on your pets as well.

Yeah, but what a hassle it is to shave them to get the defibrillator pads to stick.
posted by brevator at 4:03 AM on April 1, 2008


This is the AHA's funniest April Fool's joke yet!

Okay, no. But wouldn't that be messed up?
posted by Nattie at 4:29 AM on April 1, 2008


Here is a related AskMe I posted a while back to help you keep the beat, as it were.

This is another example of a larger overall trend in CPR instruction for the lay rescuer-keep things as simple as possible In particular managing an airway without proper training and experience is more difficult than people realize, so leaving it alone makes sense. Of course, CPR for healthcare workers and its big brothers ACLS and PALS continue to teach the use of a variety of resuscitation methods.
posted by TedW at 5:43 AM on April 1, 2008


TedW-- in answer to your posted question: What are some catchy, popular songs that have a tempo of about 100 beats per minute?

My paramedic instructor told us that he uses Staying Alive.
posted by brevator at 6:05 AM on April 1, 2008


I took CPR training about a year ago, and while these findings were not "officially" taught (the training of course had to use the approved method), these findings were mentioned. It was said/strongly implied that the training would most likely soon change to accommodate the findings.

And WRT "how do they test this stuff?"--anecdotally, there are people who apparently forget to do the breathing portion and just do the chest compressions in the heat of the moment. Perhaps getting statistics on these incidents was part of the process.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 7:05 AM on April 1, 2008


On a related note there were two articles posted on the New England Journal of Medicine's website today about the increasing use of home AEDs; I will try to link to them but do not know if the full text is available to non-subscribers. Article, editorial.
posted by TedW at 7:26 AM on April 1, 2008


It's also unfortunately the case that a significant number of people who suffer a heart attack and are revived go on to die later or suffer a significantly lower quality of life due to significant damage to their heart.

Mmm, something like only 2% of people who have a cardiac arrest and are resuscitated make a full recovery without serious disability, right? At least, that's the statistic I got from a friend who was lucky enough to be in that 2% (he was 31; I don't know the details beyond that).
posted by bettafish at 7:47 AM on April 1, 2008


It's also unfortunately the case that a significant number of people who suffer a heart attack and are revived go on to die later

In fact, I'd say a hundred percent of them do.
posted by binturong at 8:56 AM on April 1, 2008




^ (kind of a ghastly research study, by the way)
posted by Burhanistan at 8:25 PM on April 1, 2008


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