Continuous Compression – A New Kind of CPR

Apparently, for adults, the doctors have decided it’s better to get the blood moving again and do it fast than to worry a lot about rescue breathing or clearing the airway. (Especially since it’s often the heart doing something wacky that’s made somebody collapse.) So the idea here is just to compress the chest like crazy — 100 times a minute — and not stop for anything. If somebody else wants to do stuff in addition, they can fiddle with that.

The other innovation is that you don’t press down (ideally). You lock your arms and let gravity make your weight compress the chest, then push yourself back up. Since you’ll be doing this a hundred times a minute, you can see where you’d want to save your strength. (But as long as the compressions get made somehow, you’re not getting judged on style.) The point to press on is described as “between the nipples”. (Because people get confused if you start talking about avoiding the xiphoid bone. If you’re that high up, you won’t hit it.)

A hundred times a minute is described as being the same beat as “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. 🙂 I’m sure you young whippersnappers out there can think of some techno song to use as a memory aid, if you don’t know disco.

Anyway, the great virtue of this technique is that it’s easy. So even if you’ve never taken CPR class, even if you’re not strong, take a look. You can do this.

Here’s the video on YouTube. It came out in April, but if you’ve already seen it, this’ll be a nice review for you.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Continuous Compression – A New Kind of CPR

  1. Bypassing the mouth to mouth part will also make it much more likely for people to be willing to do it on a stranger.

    • Yes, but a hundred thousand bad romance authors will curse the day!

      I guess that must be a factor (probably more for men worried about people taking it wrong or victims with bad teeth), but that’s probably more of a mental factor before anything actually happens. I mean, if somebody was dying right in front of you, you’d probably act first and flutter indecisively later. But then, if there’s any chance of indecisive flutter, it’s better to ditch it.

      • Never underestimate the power of “someone else will do it.” The first thing our CPR trainer on the ship did was try to beat it through our heads that before you start CPR, you pick a specific person out of the crowd and say “YOU! Go call 911!” because if you yell “someone go call 911,” nobody will do it.

        Easy way around it for the romance writers– their friend does the chest compressions and they do the mouth-to-mouth. That also allows for shrinking violet main characters to be ordered into something. ^.^

      • Heh, you’re right. Once a romantic cliche is discovered, it will never go away. Heck, there’s probably people using the “You! Call 911!” for it.

        “His eyes looked deep into mine as he screamed at me to pull my head out of my butt and call 911. I blushed as I realized how deeply he trusted me, a complete stranger….”

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