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I just returned from one of the most eventful shopping trips ever! As I was grocery shopping the PA announcement said "If there is anyone who knows CPR could you come to the back room". As a past employee of The American Heart Association, I went running.
When I got there, at least 8 or more people were standing around a fellow employee who was lying on the floor. He was working in back and went to answer a phone call and just fell over.
There was a woman reluctantly putting on a pair of rubber gloves to try to help him in some way. I had to walk her through the correct procedure. Many times no one jumps right in to help because of the common fear of having to give a stranger mouth to mouth resuscitation.
So I am writing this to let you all know that, the American Heart Association NO LONGER suggests that you need to do that.
What you DO need to do immediately and continuously until the ambulance personnel arrives is to place BOTH hands (one on top of the other) directly over the victim's chest and rhythmically pump their chest every second. Push hard and don't stop. If you do tire, ask someone else to continue pumping.
If someone isn't breathing they only have 3 minutes without air before they begin to suffer brain damage so getting air into their body is important!
If you happen to have rubber gloves or if it's a loved one, you might also fish into their mouth first to make sure the didn't have an obstruction in their throat and that their tongue is out of the way, but the pumping is MANDATORY for survival.
I can't tell you the end of this story. Just because a victim starts breathing again, they still need to get a regular heartbeat back and we won't know that until their visit to the hospital is over, but at least we did whatever we could have to help him get that chance.
I urge everyone to take a CPR course. It can help with heart attacks, drowning victims, electrical accidents, and so much more! Who knows whose life you might save and think about how you'd feel if your loved one needed it and you didn't know how to help!
When an adult has a sudden cardiac arrest, his or her survival depends greatly on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Unfortunately, less than 1/3 of those people who experience a cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location get that help. Most bystanders are worried that they might do something wrong or make things worse. That's why the America Heart Association has simplified things.
Don't be afraid. Your actions can only help. It's not normal to see an adult suddenly collapse, but if you do, call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest. Don't be afraid. Your actions can only help. Take a minute and look around this site and invite your friends! Increasing the number of people who know about Hands-Only CPR will increase the chance that someone can help when an adult suddenly collapses, and more lives can be saved.
Check out this video to see "Hands-Only CPR" in action.
Note: This CPR method should not be used on young children, please read all the facts and information on their web site. Be sure to read the "FAQs" on their web page.
Source: American Heart Association radio commercial/web site
By mkymlp from NE PA/USA
Editor's Note: The American Heart Association recommends training for this method, if you haven't had a CPR class in the last 5 years. Check with the AHA, a community college or your local health department for classes near you.