Normal Heart Rate And Respiratory Rate For 6 Year Old Top 10 CPR Myths

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Top 10 CPR Myths

Michele and I have been teaching CPR to health care professionals and students since 1984. We have seen the development, improvement, and widespread adoption of CPR education over the years. Despite these advances, we still hear many myths about CPR every time we teach a class. As health care professionals and students, we must not let outdated information, or public misunderstandings and fears about CPR, or Hollywood’s unrealistic portrayal of CPR, affect our duty to provide superior CPR -quality for our patients and the public. So, to help dispel these myths, I created this list of the most common CPR myths we hear most often from the healthcare professionals and students we teach every day.

Myth 1: CPR must include mouth-to-mouth breathing.

Wrong. Health professionals or first responders will begin chest compressions immediately. The breathing should be done preferably with a bag mask, mouth to mask or mouth to mouth with a blocking device. If you don’t know the patient, and you don’t feel comfortable putting your mouth to their mouth, or if you don’t have a CPR face mask, just do continuous chest compressions without breathing until the emergency services arrive. The American Heart Association has revised its recommendations and encouraged bystander rescuers to use “hands-only” CPR as an alternative to CPR with breath exchange.

Myth 2: CPR always works.

Wrong. Unfortunately, this is not true, and it is a very common belief that Hollywood has perpetuated. The actual adult survival rate from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is approximately 2% – 15%. Survival rates can increase up to 30% if an AED is used to deliver a shock. However, if the victim’s heart stops and no one starts CPR immediately – the victim’s chance of survival is zero.

Myth 3: I could be sued if I give CPR the wrong way or make a mistake.

Wrong. We have not read of any lawsuits brought against lay rescuers or health care professionals attempting to administer CPR. Generally, our legal system provides a national Good Samaritan protection, exempting anyone who provides emergency treatment with CPR in an effort to save someone’s life. This includes lay rescuers and health care professionals. Lawsuits typically target health clubs or similar establishments that have certified CPR personnel who did not have or used an AED during a cardiac arrest. In general, as long as lay rescuers and health care professionals do not deviate too far from standard CPR procedures, they will most likely be protected.

Myth 4: We can become fluent in CPR with an online class.

Wrong. While it is true that you can learn CPR steps from an online class, you may not be able to perform high-quality CPR on a real patient after taking a computer-based CPR class. Hands-on practice, with the guidance of a certified instructor, is the key to developing muscle memory and proper technique.

Myth 5: We can save a sudden cardiac arrest victim with CPR alone.

Wrong. An AED/defibrillator can deliver shocks that return the fibrillating heart to its normal rhythm. CPR alone cannot revive a sudden cardiac arrest victim. CPR can only delay death until a defibrillator can deliver a life-saving shock.

Myth 6: A patient should cough while having a heart attack to prevent the heart attack from getting worse.

Wrong. This myth is what is known as ‘Cough CPR’. Coughing CPR was thought to speed up the heart rate very slowly (bradycardia) and keep the patient conscious until the emergency services arrived. It may be a misinterpretation of vagal movement. The vagal stimulation is used to help a patient stimulate the vagus nerve to reduce a rapid heart rate.

Myth 7: A heart attack is the same as a heart attack.

Wrong. They are different situations and are treated differently. A heart attack is caused by arrhythmia, dysrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, which leads to cardiac arrest, where the heart does not move (asystole) or is fibrillating (ventricular). Myocardial infarction is a heart attack, caused by a blocked coronary artery. Therefore, the word ‘cardiac arrest’ is not the same as ‘heart attack’. A patient with a heart attack may experience chest pain, nausea, vomiting, and be diaphoretic. However, a heart attack can eventually lead to a heart attack depending on the severity of the blockage in the heart.

Myth 8: Someone with more experience than me should help the person who is suffering. So I shouldn’t help.

Wrong. The key to surviving a cardiac arrest is the immediate response of someone trained in CPR. A patient who collapses and does not receive immediate chest compressions has very little chance of survival. If you know how to do chest compressions properly you should help immediately.

Myth 9: CPR can do more harm than good.

Wrong. When you perform CPR it is on someone who does not have a heartbeat. Proper chest compressions, to be effective, must be quick and very hard. It is true that you can break some of a victim’s ribs while performing CPR. Once a victim is revived injuries can be treated. Damaged ribs are worth the risk and much better than letting the victim die without trying to give CPR.

Myth 10: CPR always restarts the victim’s heart if they are in asystole.

Wrong. CPR alone does not always restart a heart that is not beating. The purpose of administering CPR is to push oxygenated blood to the victim’s brain and other vital organs. Continuous high-quality CPR will reduce the number of the victim’s brain cells that die without proper blood flow. Medicines such as epinephrine and vasopressin can help return the blood to the heart.

Kunz is currently certified by the American Heart Association as competent in BLS, CPR, and AED since 1988. He is also an AHA certified BLS, CPR, and AED instructor. He is also the co-founder and co-owner of a medical training company that provides AHA certification classes to health care professionals and students in the New York City Area.

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