‘Press Chest to Save Cardiac Victim’

If you see a person near you having a cardiac arrest, you can skip performing mouth-to-mouth breathing, better known as the ”kiss of life”, on the person. Just press the centre of the patient’s chest, hard and fast. This is the new recommendation made by the American Heart Association.

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According to the association, chest compressions, or hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) — rapid, deep presses on the victim’s chest until help arrives — work just as well for sudden cardiac arrest in adults.

The statement, from the association’s emergency cardiovascular care committee, in this week’s Circulation journal comes after three separate studies last year described outcomes after bystanders performed CPR on people suffering cardiac arrests.

Experts now hope that bystanders will be more willing to come forward and help if they see someone suddenly collapse by pushing the middle of the victim’s chest without stopping, until emergency medical services responders arrive.

Studies show that on average, less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR, which can double or treble a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest.

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Not only is hand-only CPR simpler and easier to execute, it also encourages people uncomfortable about mouth-to-mouth breathing to come forward and help those suffering cardiac arrests.

Dr Deepak Natarajan, senior cardiologist at Apollo hospital, estimates that 5 lakh to 7.5 lakh people die of sudden cardiac arrests every year in India. More than 80% of these emergencies occur outside a hospital setting.

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Sources: The Times Of India

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