nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Changes To CPR...But Change To Do What?

First we hear to cancel the breathing part, now we switch the order to first give breaths, then compressions.  Confused?

I wrote sometime back that a new study showed that bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is more successful when people just do the chest compressions.  Patly because people are more likely to help if they don't have to put their mouth over someone else's.

Now the American Heart Assocation is changing their recommendation to support that research.  No longer should the rescuer open the airway and give two breaths first--followed by chest compressions.
Under the revised guidelines, rescuers using traditional CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, should start chest compressions immediately - 30 chest presses, then two breaths. The change applies to adults and children, but not newborns. (Assoc Press, Oct 18).
But, according to the USA Today (Oct 18) report,
The new guidelines dictate that a bystander should compress the victim's chest 100 times a minute to a depth of about 2 inches. That keeps blood and oxygen flowing to the brain, sustaining it until help arrives. Stopping for rescue breaths can interrupt blood flow.

Uh...isn't that inconsistent?

I suspect somebody reported it wrong, or we're talking about different groups of situations (people who arrest due to oxygen deprivation versus those who are having a heart attack, for instance).  But how can we tell from the reporting?
If we begin to confuse potential rescuers ("Should I breathe, then compress, or compress first...or only compress?") then the result--patient survival--could be worse.

Ever wonder why we can't get research results right?  A series of research studies over the last dozen years have shown the following:  Vitamin D prevents cancer; no it doesn't; yes, it does; no, it doesn't.

Until the science works its way through all the variables involved, there is no answer.

But for public policy, as opposed to research results, we need to be crystal clear ("How clear?" "Crystal") about what's recommended before putting it on the street, or reporting on it.
Doc D

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