Friday, July 5, 2019

Hands-only CPR: A lifesaving technique within your reach

Dr KK Aggarwal

A large Swedish study has confirmed that just like standard CPR, hands-only CPR doubles the chances of survival for a person at least 30 days after cardiac arrest. Researchers analyzed data from more than 30,000 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest from 2000 to 2017, when hands-only CPR was gradually adopted into Sweden’s CPR guidelines. The use of hands-only CPR increased six-fold over the course of the study.

Overcoming barriers

·         Hands-only CPR eliminates the fear of communicable diseases, one of the main reasons people say they would hesitate to perform CPR.
·         Another barrier people cite is fear of injuring the person, especially by doing compression incorrectly or on someone who does not actually require CPR. It’s true that even correctly done CPR can crack a person’s ribs but this can be corrected.
·         CPR keeps the blood circulating until the heart can be shocked back into a normal rhythm with an automated external defibrillator (AED). Although emergency personnel will bring and use this device, bystanders must be trained to obtain and use public access AEDs if we want to have the most favorable outcomes.

Basic hands-only CPR instructions

·         Place the person on the floor.
·         Kneel beside the person.
·         Place the heel of one hand on the center of the person’s chest. Place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand and lace your fingers together.
·         Position your body so that your shoulders are directly over your hands. Keeping your arms straight, push down with your arms and hands, using your body weight to compress the person’s chest.
·         Push hard enough to press the chest down at least two inches.
·         Continue pressing the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
·         Continue hands-only CPR until emergency medical service (EMS) personnel arrive.
·         If possible, enlist another person to take over for you after a few minutes, because doing the compressions can be tiring.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA

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