CPR has changed. Parents - are you prepared?
Written by: kim wilschek
Have you heard that the American Heart Association recently issued new CPR guidelines? When was your last CPR class, and why is this important for parents? Choking is the #1 cause of accidental death in infants and a leading cause of death in children under the age of 3. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all parents know what to do in a choking emergency. Many parents don’t realize that ‘choking and CPR’ are two intertwined skills. CPR classes teach parents how to handle conscious and unconscious choking, which requires CPR.
What are the key changes in CPR for 2012? Here are the top 4:
- Compressions come first. The rescuer always starts CPR by doing compressions. Mouth to mouth breathing is no longer the first step in the process.
- Good compressions. There is a strong emphasis on good, effective compressions. Push hard and push fast. In fact, the compression rate is as fast as you can do it & still allow for full chest recoil between pushes. Good compressions are hard work. The average person starts to feel fatigued after only 2 minutes of high-quality CPR.
- The ratio of compressions to breaths is 30 to 2 for all age groups. Rescuers give 30 compressions, followed by 2 breaths, then repeat. This ratio is the same for infants, children, and adults.
- Hands only CPR. Hands only CPR is CPR with compressions only, no breaths. This increases a heart attack victim’s survival rate by 50% over no action at all. Hands only CPR is only for the adult victim. Infant & children need the additional oxygen supplied by mouth to mouth breathing. Here’s the bottom line: If you have the opportunity to help an unresponsive adult, and you haven’t been trained in CPR, or don’t want to do the ‘mouth-to-mouth breathing’ for any reason………..just kneel alongside the victim and perform nonstop chest compressions until advanced medical help (the paramedics) arrive.
Taking a CPR class is the only way to learn effective CPR. But, until you can take a class, spend 2 minutes now to learn more about Hands only CPR. Because taking care of our children, also means protecting their father, grandmother, and grandfather. Do you have an iphone or ipad? Download the free Hands only app. And, if you are still a blackberry person, like I am, no worries. Go to the American Heart Association webpage for a fun video tutorial. Yes, the AHA is actually fun! Choose the ‘chest’ you want to practice on and get to work. I chose the tan, male chest because it reminds me of my colleague at Chicago CPR, Sam Holloway. Sam rocks! Besides being cute and charming, he is an awesome CPR instructor.