CPR, or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, is one of the most basic lifesaving techniques. In emergency situations, performing CPR in a timely manner can substantially increase the survival rate for victims of cardiac arrest. Furthermore, unlike defibrillation, CPR requires minimal amounts of medical training and needs no bulky, specialized equipment.
Studies have shown that in many cases, people are reluctant to perform CPR on victims who desperately need it. Those who are qualified and trained to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation often fail to put their skills to use. This is a troubling trend, given the overwhelmingly clear scientific evidence in favor of CPR.
To combat this trend, the American Heart Association (AHA) has begun advocating a “simplified” version of CPR known as “hands-only CPR.” Unlike traditional CPR, hands-only CPR consists only of chest compressions and leaves out the intermittent lung-inflation breaths. Though not as thoroughly effective as the original two-stage CPR form, hands-only CPR is still very beneficial to adults suffering from cardiac arrest. The mentality behind the AHA’s new recommendation is that even partial CPR (hands-only, in other words) is far better than no CPR at all. Furthermore, the AHA is hoping that this simplified version of CPR will encourage more people to perform this lifesaving procedure, should they witness a person in trouble.
To perform hands-only CPR, the rescuer places his or her palm heels in the center of the victim’s chest, just below the nipple line. While locking his or her elbows, the rescuer begins a steady pace of compressions, pushing just over an inch downward into the victim’s chest.
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