Entries in CPR (11)


Heart Experts: Don’t Think, Just Do CPR

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An incident that made headlines Monday seemed shocking: An assisted living facility worker refused to give CPR to an elderly woman who had collapsed on the floor.

And yet it’s an all-too-common situation, as private facilities worry about lawsuits and as people either assume that CPR won’t save a fragile elderly person or fret about breaking a rib, experts said.

People often assume old people are less able to survive a heart attack, said Dr. Benjamin Abella, clinical director at the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania.  

“We often have biases that the elderly may do worse or have more problems, but it’s hard to say that in 2013,” Abella told ABC News. “Health clubs, gyms, malls are afraid of liability and would rather leave it to the medical professionals. The problem don’t have 10 minutes in cardiac arrest.”

Cardiac arrest is the most time-sensitive disease that exists, Abella said. Every minute that passes and a stricken person gets no help, the chance of death increases by 10 percent to 15 percent, he said.

That means after 12 minutes --  the time it often takes for an ambulance to arrive -- the chance of survival is already “very, very low,” Abella said.

Lorraine Bayless, 87, died later in the day on Feb. 26 after a Glenwood Gardens worker defied pleas of a 911 dispatcher to perform CPR. The worker cited a company policy that instructs Glenwood Gardens employees to call 911 and wait in if a resident is having a “health emergency.”

While a bias persists that the elderly might fare worse after a heart attack, studies find that an active 80-year-old who plays tennis, say, can better recover from cardiac arrest than a bedridden 50-year-old on dialysis.

Injuring the patient also shouldn’t be a worry, even with a very old person, said Dr. Benjamin Abraham, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Ohio State University.

“With adequate or vigorous CPR, we may break a rib or two, but the benefit of doing that is to increase the likelihood of survival,” he told ABC News.

That’s true even for tiny infants, Abella said.

“It’s even harder to injure an infant because their ribs are very flexible,” he said.

CPR is important because it acts like an artificial heart, pushing blood from the heart to vital organs, most essentially the brain, Abraham said.

People shouldn’t worry if they haven’t taken a CPR course, both experts said. Quick, strong, hand compression to the chest as soon as possible after cardiac arrest is far more important than breathing into a person’s mouth, the American Heart Association now publicizes.

The rule of thumb is 100 compressions per minute, or the beat of the 1970s disco song “Stayin’ Alive,” the association instructs.

For a baby, a person should follow the same instructions as for an adult but use one thumb on top of another instead of the palm of a hand with another hand on top, Abraham said.

“People should do their best,” Abella said. ”Waiting for the ambulance is often not sufficient.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Musher Saves Dog with Mouth-to-Snout

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(RAINY PASS, Alaska) -- When Marshall collapsed on the Iditarod trail, Scott Janssen did what any good friend would do:  He stopped the sled and gave mouth-to-mouth CPR.

Or mouth-to-snout, as the case may be. Marshall is a veteran sled dog, and a personal pet of Janssen and his wife Debbie Janssen.

On Monday night, 22 miles from the next checkpoint at Rainy Pass, Alaska, the dog suddenly fell.

“Marshall was running really tight on the line, no problems at all, and all of a sudden, he collapsed,” said Debbie Janssen.

When Scott Janssen stopped the sled and grabbed Marshall, the dog wasn’t breathing, so he closed the dog’s mouth and began breathing into Marshall’s nose, all the while compressing the animal’s chest.

Scott Janssen had to administer mouth-to-snout twice, because after the first attempt, Marshall woke up but then quickly fell unconscious again.

The second time, Debbie Janssen said, her husband could see in his dog’s eyes that he was coming to.

“He looked at Marshall and said, ‘Come on! Come back to me!’” Debbie Janssen said. “And Marshall did. He came back. He started breathing.”

At 9 years old, Marshall is one of the oldest dogs on Scott’s team. He has competed in about six Iditarod races, and given his age, this was to be his final attempt.

After Marshall was resuscitated successfully, Scott Janssen tucked the pooch into his sled bag and then approached the front of the sled to reassure each dog with a quiet voice or a gentle hug.

“They were all freaking out,” Debbie Janssen said. “They’ve been a team and could tell something was wrong.”

The team then continued on to Rainy Pass, where Marshall showed no signs of stress, according to Iditarod spokesperson Erin McLarnon. Leaving Marshall with the Iditarod vet, Scott and his team of 14 dogs continued on toward the finish line in Nome.

Marshall is being flown back to Anchorage, where the Janssens own a funeral home.

Scott Janssen, who calls himself the “Mushing Mortician,” is competing in his second Iditarod. He trained with experienced musher Paul Gebhardt for four years. And it was Gebhardt who taught him how to perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation.

“It’s his dog,” said Debbie Janssen. "He loves all these dogs. He told me he couldn’t imagine Marshall dying in front of him.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Jersey Teen Uses CPR to Revive Elderly Man

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DENVILLE, N.J.) -- A 16-year-old New Jersey girl received a very grown-up honor this week for reviving an elderly man who suffered a heart attack in a bowling alley.

Christa Fairclough of Denville sprang into action on Dec. 9 when she saw a 75-year-old man curled on the floor in a fetal position, according to The Star-Ledger.

“I just saw nobody else was doing anything,” she told the paper.  “It was like I was the only one that noticed.”

Fairclough had recently learned CPR in a health class but didn’t receive her certificate because her hair had interfered with her ability to see the rise and fall of the mannequin’s chest.

She worried she would forget what she had learned, but that evening in the bowling alley it all came back. The man’s pulse returned after about five minutes of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions.

The man later died, but his family told Fairclough they were very grateful to her.

While the proper sequence of steps and number of breaths and chest compressions can be difficult to remember, a recent study found that young people are very capable of learning and retaining the basics of CPR.

ABC News’ partner MedPage Today reported that Austrian researchers reviewed data on 147 young people between the ages of 9 and 18 who had six hours of CPR training in 2006.  About 86 percent of them performed CPR correctly, but smaller students weren’t as able to compress the chest to the appropriate depth and delivered less air during the mouth-to-mouth portion.

The researchers also reported that the ability to remember the basics of CPR were “remarkably similar, if not better, than that reported in adults.”

In response to the research, Dr. Benjamin Abella of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Resuscitation Science said educating children about CPR could  be very valuable.

“We always tend to give kids too little credit regarding how much they can understand and process about serious adult issues,” he said. “Choosing the age for training is important, but teenagers are certainly eager and willing students for practical and important life training such as CPR.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Girl, Friend Save Mom With CPR Learned on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

ABC/RANDY HOLMES(SHEBOYGAN, Wis.) -- A mother of three from Sheboygan, Wis., credits her 10-year-old daughter, her daughter’s friend and Grey’s Anatomy, with saving her life.

When 36-year-old Kandace Seyferth collapsed from a severe asthma attack Nov. 25, her daughter Madisyn knew exactly what to do. She quickly dialed 911 and started mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while her friend, 12-year-old Katelynn Vreeke, performed chest compressions.

Where did these young girls learn how to give lifesaving CPR? From watching ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, Seyferth said. “We’ve watched it every week for the past eight years,” Seyferth told ABC News. “When my fiancé asked her how she knew what to do, she said, ‘I’ve seen it on there 100 times.’”

Paramedics arrived four minutes later and took Seyferth to a nearby hospital.

“The paramedics saw them doing it, and they were just floored,” said Seyferth. “They’ve never taken classes; they just did what they saw. It’s amazing.”

Seyferth, who also has two sons, one 13 years old and the other 17 months old, said she was shocked by the young girls’ quick and calm response.

“My mind’s just blown,” she said. “Most adults I know would panic. They kept calm.”

Fire chief Jeff Hermann said the outcome could have been different had the girls not started CPR.

“These kids did what they were supposed to do, and they should be commended for the speed of their actions as well as the actions themselves,” Hermann told the Sheboygan Press.

Seyferth developed asthma symptoms after battling severe pneumonia last year.

“I’ve never felt the same since,” she said, describing the infection that landed her in intensive care for 21 days.

Seyferth carries an albuterol inhaler at all times. But they day she collapsed, it didn’t work. She’s visiting a pulmonologist Tuesday for lung testing, and hopes to get some answers.

In the meantime, Seyferth said the incident strengthened the already strong bond between her and her daughter.

“She’s getting an extra-special Christmas present this year,” she said. “If they weren’t around, I don’t know what would have happened. I wouldn’t be here, that’s for sure.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Boy Who Saved Sister With CPR Congratulated by Movie Producer

ABC News(MESA, Ariz.) -- Nine-year-old Tristin Saghin became a hero Sunday when he saved his two-year-old sister using CPR he learned watching the movie Black Hawk Down. The movie's producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, sent Tristin a message Friday via Twitter:

"Very courageous Tristin. All the best to your sister, hope for quick recovery #BlackHawkDown," Bruckheimer wrote.

Tristin's sister, Brooke, is most likely alive today because of her quick-thinking brother. Tristin was visiting his grandmother in Mesa, Ariz., with his family when his sister was found floating in the backyard pool.

"My mom went running outside and saw her floating in the pool," Tristin said.

Brooke had been in the water a couple minutes but was not breathing when she was pulled onto the patio. While his mother and grandmother called for help, Tristin performed CPR on her, and minutes later she was breathing.

In Black Hawk Down, Tristin told ABC News, "they were like pushing on your chest and giving rescue breaths" and that's the technique he used.

Tristin's father, Chris, said they had tried to prevent Tristin from watching the R-rated movie.

"We've tried to turn this movie off 100 times," he said. "He watches these scenes over and over. He dresses up like a medic and he runs around doing these things. We always thought it was so silly but ... that silly movie that cost a few dollars saved our daughter's life."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nine-Year-Old Boy Saves Baby Sister with CPR

Ableimages/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MESA, Ariz.) -- A nine-year-old boy who saved his baby sister's life after she fell into a swimming pool said he learned CPR from watching television.

Tristin Saghin was visiting his grandmother in Mesa, Arizona, with his family when his 2-year-old sister was found floating in the backyard pool.

"My grandma came in to look for her toothpaste and said, 'Where's the baby?' And my mom went running outside and there she was floating," Tristin told ABC News affiliate ABC15.

While his mother and grandmother called for help, Tristin performed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on his sister, who was pulled from the pool unconscious and not breathing.

Tristin said that minutes later, his sister started breathing. She is currently recovering in the hospital and, thanks to Tristin, is expected to be fine.

"I couldn't imagine what was going through his mind," said Mesa Fire Department spokesman Capt. Forrest Smith. "Here he is, in a situation where most of us, if we had a family member in that position, as parents we tend to really panic and be concerned. I tell you, we really give kudos out to him."

Learning CPR has traditionally been an exhaustive half-day ordeal. But new research suggests a short 60-second training video might be just as effective.

For Tristin, imitating what he had seen on TV was enough. The boy, who is being hailed as a hero, said he would do anything for his sister.

"She's really beautiful and I love her really much," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Fire Department App Rallies CPR-Trained Citizens in Emergencies

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SAN RAMON, Calif.) -- A new iPhone application is making it easier than ever for CPR-trained Good Samaritans to save lives.

Launched by California's San Ramon Fire Protection District, the fire department app alerts CPR-savvy citizens to cardiac emergencies in their areas, with the hope that they'll be able to help out until emergency professionals arrive.

The app was launched in January, but got a big boost this week when San Francisco signed on as the first major city to back the technology.

"What's so important about sudden cardiac arrest is brain death occurs between four and six minutes after your heart stops. Even your best emergency services can take up to five minutes to get to the site of the patient," said Kimberly French, an information officer with the San Ramon Fire Protection District. "It's so important to bridge that gap, because what it does is it stops the clock."

Linking CPR-certified citizens to a local 911 dispatch center helps buy time until professionals can help victims of cardiac arrest, she said.

San Ramon fire officials hatched the idea after a 2009 incident in which the district's fire chief Richard Price (whom locals call "Fire Chief 2.0") was at a deli when, unbenknownst to him, a cardiac emergency was reported next door, French said.

The victim survived, she said, but the incident spurred Price and his peers to figure out how to match people with CPR training to those who need it, in real-time.

When users download the application, they're asked if they're trained in CPR. If they indicate that they are, the app quietly monitors their locations. When 911 dispatchers learn of a cardiac arrest, they can send a text-like push notification to all CPR-trained users of the application who are nearby. The message includes the location of the victim as well as the precise location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Since its launch in January, Fire Department has been downloaded more than 30,000 times, French said. But so far only the San Ramon Fire Protection District is using the site.

"The ultimate goal is to make it available for all emergency services to use," French said. "It's too good for us to keep in our little jurisdiction out here in California."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study: Shorter Proves Better in CPR Training

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- The days of the hours-long office CPR training session may be numbered if the findings of a new study hold true.

A 60-second training video may be all it takes to save a life, researchers found in a new study funded by the American Heart Association.  Study participants who viewed a one-minute CPR instructional video were more likely to attempt CPR and perform a higher quality of CPR than those who did not watch the video.

More surprising was that the group who watched the one-minute training video performed better and made better decisions than those who watched a five or eight-minute version, suggesting that less may be more when it comes to teaching CPR basics.

Dr. Gabe Wilson, associate medical director in the department of emergency medicine at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, said that when information is boiled down to a few clear points, people have much better recall and interest.

"When you know you are going to be provided with important information, and only need to pay attention for 60 seconds, the chances of engaging attention is much greater," said Wilson.

Wilson, who was not involved in the study, said that 60 seconds is enough time to cover the basic fundamentals of CPR.

"We're really excited about this," said Dr. Bentley J. Bobrow, lead author of the study, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Qualities and Outcomes, and clinical associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.

"Survival is really low for sudden cardiac arrest, and it's not drugs or fancy expensive devices or hospital care that helps save the most lives.  It's CPR.  But so few people receive CPR.  It's really a tragedy and lost opportunity," Bobrow said.

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States.  About 300,000 people experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States each year, and their chance of survival declines seven percent to 10 percent with each minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


CPR Marathon: More Than Two Dozen Responders Resuscitate Neighbor for 96 Minutes

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(GOODHUE, Minn.) -- It's not very often Dr. Roger White uses the word "amazing." But when more than 20 first responders tirelessly performed CPR on a dying man for more than an hour and a half -- and saved his life -- the co-director of the Mayo Clinic's emergency transport team said it was nothing less than remarkable.

In the tiny, remote town of Goodhue, Minn., where the population is less than 1,000, Howard Snitzer, 54, was heading to buy groceries at Don's Foods when he crumpled to the sidewalk, suffering a massive heart attack.

While the grocery clerk called 911, the only customer in the store, an off-duty corrections officer, rushed to Snitzer's side and began what could be the longest, successful out-of-hospital resuscitation ever. Across the street, Roy and Al Lodermeier, of Roy and Al's Auto Service, heard the commotion and hurried over and started CPR on Snitzer.

As news spread, the numbers grew. The team of first responders in Goodhue is made up entirely of volunteers. In total, about two dozen pairs of hands worked to the point of exhaustion to save Snitzer's life in a CPR marathon.  The emergency volunteers took turns performing CPR on Snitzer for a marathon 96 minutes until paramedics arrived via helicopter.

Mary Svoboda, a Mayo Clinic flight nurse who flew in on the emergency helicopter, said "it was unbelievable. There were probably 20 in line, waiting their turn to do CPR. They just kept cycling through."

To restore a normal heartbeat, first responders shocked Snitzer's heart 12 times and administered intravenous drugs. When they finally felt a pulse, Snitzer was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic. After 10 days, he was released from the hospital -- miraculously healthy, and incredibly grateful.

"My heart wasn't pumping anything, so the only thing that was pumping my blood was those guys doing CPR," he said.

Snitzer, a relatively new addition to Goodhue, reunited with those who worked to save his life on Tuesday at the town's fire station.

"I think it's the quality of the person," he said. "We're in small-town America, hard-working people. I happened to have a king-size heart attack in the right place and the right time, and these guys would not give up."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


American Heart Association Rearranges the ABCs of CPR

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DALLAS) -- The American Heart Association issued new guidelines Monday rearranging the steps for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.  According to the association, rapid chest compressions should now be the first step taken in trying to revive victims of cardiac arrest.  This changes the original order for CPR from A-B-C (Airway-Breathing-Compressions) to C-A-B (Compressions-Airway-Breathing).

“For more than 40 years, CPR training has emphasized the ABCs of CPR, which instructed people to open a victim’s airway by tilting their head back, pinching the nose and breathing into the victim’s mouth, and only then giving chest compressions,” said Michael Sayre, M.D., co-author of the guidelines and chairman of the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Committee.

“This approach was causing significant delays in starting chest compressions, which are essential for keeping oxygen-rich blood circulating through the body," Sayre said. "Changing the sequence from A-B-C to C-A-B for adults and children allows all rescuers to begin chest compressions right away.”

The AHA notes that victims will have oxygen remaining in their lungs and bloodstream during the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest.  By starting CPR with chest compressions, as opposed to opening a victim's airway first, that blood can be pumped back to the victim's brain and heart faster.

The changes apply to adults, children and infants, but not to newborns.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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