I haven't read this article in detail, but a quick skim confirms what I've heard in the press. One of the primary reasons for encouraging chest compression only is that lay rescuers are more likely to actually do something. Clearing the airway and/or mouth to mouth breathing, not surprisingly, is a barrier so they do nothing A recent "Seinfeld" rerun even made a "joke" out of this while Jerry and Newman debated over who would do CPR on a person (the "pool guy" after Newman jumps on him) because neither person wanted to put their mouth on the male victim's mouth. It may be "comedy" but it plays off of reality.
I'm taking some undergrad Physiology classes for fun. We've discussed this a little bit in class and I had the same question. The response I got was that there is still enough oxygen bound to hemoglobin to last a few minutes as long as its circulated.
If cellular respiration is dependent on the partial pressure difference between PO2 and PCO2, then would the O2 still bound to hemoglobin be able to diffuse to the brain? It seems like there would be minimal (or no) added O2 to the system through mechanical ventilation from the compressions.
It sounds like even if someone is conscious you are supposed to do these compressions, but I thought compressions should only be done when there is no pulse.
Lab Safety Specialist, EHS
University of Texas at Austin
SER 207, C2600
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Good to send that around.
Anyone can learn to do this, and like eye/skin chemical decon, anything is better than nothing.
When this first came out, I was a volunteer teaching CPR with the American Red Cross and I went to my co-instructor and showed it to her, and she was absolutely appalled.
We were, of course, both well-trained and certified this, that and the other thing in the medical/first aid fields.
As a Board Certified Emergency Physician and Advanced Cardiac Life Support CertifiedProvider and Instructor for aI remain unconvinced that circulating deoxygenated blood really does anything, but since probably anyone can learn this, maybe it wouldn't hurt.
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Former Emergency Physician
This is a new, simple CPR technique that everyone should learn.
This short video illustrates the best demonstration and gives the simplest explanation of exactly what to do if someone near you collapses and is presumably having a heart attack.
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