Bystander CPR

Just How Important It Is?

Bystander CPR can do so much in cases of cardiac arrest. Recent studies suggest limiting CPR to chest-compression only to increase bystander participation. Read on and learn how important bystander CPR is.

Even if you haven’t had any CPR training and you see someone to have a heart attack, just administering chest compressions can help improve the outcome of the victim. According to recent studies, chest compressions can help keep blood flow to vital organs and can be as effective as full CPR (chest compression plus artificial ventilation.)

The study, published in New England Journal of Medicine, has found that the survival rates between victims who received chest compression-only CPR and standard CPR from untrained bystanders had no significant difference between. Usually, bystander CPR is done under the instruction of a call dispatch operator.

Some experts are moving to simplify the standard CPR procedure by removing mouth-to-mouth artificial ventilation, something that can hopefully raise attempts at providing bystander CPR.

The study authors further stressed out that the chances of survival can double when bystander CPR is provided. But the problem is that there are very people who are willing to try it. In fact, only one in three people actually receive the much-needed CPR from bystanders. Perhaps, making CPR less complicated may enable people to perform it.

The highly coordinated sequence of chest compression and rescue breathing can make CPR hard to do, especially for the majority of us who aren’t trained in the technique. As a matter of fact, even people who have completed CPR training but don’t often have the chance to practice it, can have a difficult time. Even healthcare professionals who do not regularly perform mouth-to-mouth would find rescue breathing quite complicated.

By removing rescue breathing, the procedure for providing life-saving response is significantly cut. If someone suddenly drops, call emergency services and then initiate chest compressions. Emergency call operators can provide bystanders step-by-step instructions on how to perform compression-only CPR. Other bystanders present in the scene can call for help or go look for an AED (automatic external defibrillator), which are now available in many public spaces.

CPR Training

CPR Training

The rule in compression-only CPR is to “push hard and fast” to keep the blood flowing. As much as possible, avoid stopping, unless you have to use a defibrillator or have to provide rescue breathing. If you need to pause, keep it as brief as possible.

However, these studies do not undermine the importance of rescue breathing. There are emergency situations where providing artificial ventilation is necessary. For example, children generally require rescue breathing, as well as victims of choking or those who have had trouble breathing before falling unconscious. Finally, these recent studies seek to enable more people to discern and provide bystander CPR even if they haven’t been trained in CPR. By just providing chest compressions, you significantly improve the outcome of the victim.


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