None of us ever hopes to need — or give — cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). But in case of emergency, it pays to understand new guidelines for the procedure, which make it easier for untrained bystanders to perform CPR.
The American Heart Association now advises both trained and untrained rescuers to begin CPR with chest compressions and, in most cases that do not involve a drowning victim, to do away with the resuscitating breaths altogether. Studies have shown that using chest compressions only is just as effective in re-starting a failing heart as doing the full version of CPR.
Another benefit of hands-only rescuing? Untrained good Samaritans are more likely to jump in and try to save a life if they have to do only chest compressions as opposed to the combination of pumps and mouth-to-mouth. That increases the chances that more victims of cardiac arrest will survive.
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