Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thumbs up for hands-only CPR :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Health News

Thumbs up for hands-only CPR :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Health News

In a major change aimed at getting more bystanders to do CPR, the American Heart Association now says it's OK to skip the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when performing CPR on adults having a heart attack.

New guidelines issued by the organization Monday encourage non-medical professionals to use hands-only CPR -- doing hard, fast chest compressions -- instead of a combination of chest thrusts and rescue breathing, as long recommended.

By making CPR less complicated, the aim is to get more people to try doing it in an emergency.

"Many times, people nearby don't help because they're afraid that they will hurt the victim and aren't confident in what they're doing," said Dr. Michael Sayre, lead author of the new recommendation. "We want people to know that they can help many victims just by calling 911 and doing chest compressions. Don't be afraid to try it."

The shift is supported by evidence from three large studies done last year that found survival rates weren't hurt when mouth-to-mouth wasn't used, the heart association said.

However, important to note, prayer remains a non-viable alternative. If someone around you is choking, please DO NOT pray for them, please DO SOMETHING instead.

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