Odds For Saving Lives Getting Better With CPR

Friday, April 4th 2008, 10:56 pm
By: News On 6

Saving a person's life just got easier.  The American Heart Association announced that hands-only CPR works just as well as standard CPR for sudden cardiac arrest patients.  That means people will have better odds of saving a loved-one's life in the critical moments after a heart attack.

News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports when someone in the Tulsa area calls 911, EMSA Supervisor Bryon Schultz may be on the other end of the line.

Many times callers tell Schultz they think a loved one is having a heart attack.

"Most of the time it's he stopped breathing. You know it's he fell down and is not awake," said Schultz.

First Schultz asks a series of questions to find out exactly what happened.

If it's cardiac arrest, he tells the caller how to give CPR, in most cases that does not involve mouth to mouth, just chest compressions.

"The faster we can get compressions going on a person the increased likelihood that when responders get there we're going to have some success in getting a return of a pulse," said Schultz.

EMSA made the switch to hands-only CPR for bystander's years ago.  But now that the American Heart Association has made it official, they believe more people should learn how to do it.

According to the AHA, it's just as effective as CPR was with mouth to mouth.

"There's more and more data out there. There's more and more research showing that compressions is really the key on getting people to survive a cardiac arrest," said Schultz.

Hands-only CPR does not apply to children or babies.  In some cases with adults, mouth to mouth may still be helpful.

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