Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation or CPR is performed when a person's heart has stopped due to a heart attack or drowning. CPR consists of pushing on the chest at a rate of 100 compressions per minute, to mechanically restart the natural heart movement. Currently, the survival rate of a heart attack, from all causes and in all groups, is 6%, and with CPR, this chance of recovery increases to 12%.
It is generally equivalent to basic life support, and should be regarded not as a way to treat heart attacks, but to buy time until the victim can be defibrillated or receive other definitive care. Very few heart attack victims will regain a pulse through CPR alone, although the most common cause of out-of-hospital arrest in children is respiratory and may be correctable.
It is recommended that breathing is applied to the patient at regular intervals, although this is disputed by new reports which indicate that CPR compressions alone provide the best chance of resuscitation. According to the American Heart Association courses of May 2010, the most important aspect is keeping an uninterrupted rate of 100 compressions per minute.
Several automated devices are available such as the Lucas CPR and Auto-Pulse, which are reported to increase the survival rate to 20%, but there is an increased chance of broken ribs if the device is not aligned correctly.
Clinical practice guidelines
Clinical practice guidelines from the American Heart Association provide recommendations. These were updated in 2010 to change the mnemonic guiding initial therapy from A-B-C to C-A-B in adults. The training, at least for health care professionals, still emphasizes Airway and Breathing in children.
- American Heart Association (2010. 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care: Comparison Chart of Key Changes<