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Every two years, to update my skills, I retake a basic CPR course sponsored by the American Heart Association, along with their Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support course for health care professionals. And it never fails, I always learn something new and remember things I shouldn’t have forgotten. Here are a few highlights from this year.
CPR 1. Why has the advice changed to focus so much on chest compressions?
As a The Survival Doctor reader, you already know that modern CPR usually only involves chest compressions, rather than additional artificial respirations.
You may recall that one of the reasons is, in the typical adult CPR situation, the heart is the problem. It stops beating because something has gone wrong with it (not the breathing). At the time the person collapses, they’ve been breathing just fine, thank you, so they still have enough oxygen in their body to keep their organs alive—if the oxygenated blood can just be circulated around. That’s what the chest compressions are for.
What this year’s class clarified is how really important it is to keep compressions continuous and how devastating it can be to have too [... continue reading]
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