Saturday, April 08, 2006

Instructors learn new CPR basics

From the Casper (WY) Start Tribune:

Emergency responders and hospital workers must fundamentally change the way they perform basic CPR in order to save more lives, a retired Casper firefighter told an audience of medical technicians Friday.

"We're not saving as many lives as we could," David Woodworth said during a seminar Friday in Casper. The Basic Life Support class aimed to educate CPR instructors around the state on new guidelines from the American Heart Association.

Woodworth, who works in the laboratory at the Wyoming Medical Center, said approximately 350,000 people die from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in North America.

The new focus is on increasing the number chest compressions and making sure those repetitions are at a proper depth, speed and that the compression recoil allows the heart to refill with blood.

The guidelines call for a compression/ventilation ratio of 30 to 2, with 30 chest compressions followed by two quick breaths. This new technique applies to infants, children and adults.

Before this change, emergency workers were trained to give 15 chest compressions, followed by two breaths. This provided ample oxygen, but didn't keep the heart pumping enough.


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