I will never forget when I was about 10 or 11 years old I saw a man die. We were actually at a local farm stand. I remember a lot of people standing around him, but no one touched him.
That was forty years ago. I remember reading something recently that said CPR was introduced in the late 60's, unfortunately too late for this gentleman.
Today the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross are at the forefront of CPR training. Both offer online CPR instruction and training as well as courses that offer certification in their local offices.
The steps to performing CPR are very easy to learn. You can find CPR guidelines online to learn how to administer CPR. I took CPR certification courses through my workplace. If you look in the events section of your local paper you may find CPR training courses offered at local hospitals or schools.
As my parents have gotten older I've thought it more important than ever that I am very well versed in adult CPR. I was very surprised to learn that the new CRP guidelines call for hands-only. This is only for adults, and NOT for children or infants. And, the new CPR procedure using hands-only is NOT for drowning victims or anyone who has suffered from a drug overdose. These two types of victims still need the conventional CPR method of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions.
The hands-only CPR is performed in the same way that chest compressions have always been performed.
You place the heel of your hand in the middle of the chest between the nipples.
Place your other hand on top and interlace your fingers. Give "hard and quick" pumps on the chest making sure that it's compressed 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Don't let your hand bounce around on the chest, keep the heel of your hand against the chest.
Make sure that you let the chest bounce back fully before performing the next compression.
You should strive to make 100 pumps per minute. That's a lot, and do them uninterrupted.
One emergency physician interviewed about the new CPR guidelines suggested that if you have to do hands-only CPR you do it keeping the BeeGee's song "Staying Alive" in mind, that gives you an idea of how quickly you need to do proper compressions.
The most important thing about performing CPR is to remember, in the words of the American Heart Association, doing something is better than doing nothing. The new CPR guidelines are easy to follow. Don't hesitate, you could save a life.
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