A new study shows that changing Cardiopulmonary to Cardiocerebral resuscitation in cardiac arrest cases can improve survival rates by 300%. Outside-hospital cardiac arrest emergencies now show a 1-3% survival rate. Improving that kind of score is a worthwhile goal.
The study shows that the chest compression component is more effective than the mouth-to-mouth part of the process. I did not know that, but saw that the compressions were more effective so I concentrated on them and hoped I was not killing my wife. This new study and technique reassured me. As did her survival, for which I fought hard and long.
The new technique shows a 300% better survival rate after cardiac arrest according to “Gordon A. Ewy, director of UA Sarver Heart Center, where the new approach was developed. Ewy is one of few people in the world named a "CPR Giant" by the American Heart Association.”
Their new technique tends to downplay mouth-to-mouth in favor of chest compressions. Dr. Ewy explained that "In out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, the brain and the heart need resuscitation, not the lungs."
This change will make it easier and less frightening for many – passers-by, rescuers who are not as well equipped as the professional lifesavers who will answer your first-world telephone call with help.
However, you cannot wait for them. Every second counts if the person is no longer breathing. With every second, they drift further away from this world and the brain begins to be damaged or to die from lack of oxygen. Every second is a second gained for you to breathe – or push – life into a human soul.
The U. of Washington site says: Call 911. Blow. Give 2 mouth-to-mouth breaths. Pump. Compress the chest and continue to give 30 compressions to 2 mouth-to-mouth air transfers. Yes, 30. I was taught, 25 or more years ago, to use almost equal chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth air transfer.
Originally it was thought that rescuers, even trained non-professionals, would need 4 seconds to switch from compressions to air transfer. The reality is an average of 16 seconds. “Eager” medical students (and they are healthy, young people) have been found to need 14 seconds. Each of those seconds is time lost, brain cells lost, survival chances lessened.
"But when you stop chest compressions to give mouth-to-mouth ventilations, no blood is moved and the organs essentially are starved.” Dr. Ewy said, “In fact, during CPR, blood flow to the brain and the organs is so poor that stopping chest compression for any reason - including so called 'rescue breathing' - is not helpful."
About 490,000 Americans die yearly from cardiac arrest out-of-hospital. Even with life-saving efforts the survival rate over the last 20 years has remained a pretty sad 1-3% in large cities (without external defibrillators, which this study does not include).