CPR: Everyday heroes
“Nine-year-old boy uses CPR to save drowning sister”; “CPR from bystanders, firefighters, saves Calif. man's life”; “Off-duty FDNY EMT saves police officer.” Every year, thousands of people's lives are saved by family members, emergency personnel and total strangers who know what to do when someone's heart and breathing stops: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
But thousands more people could be saved if we all knew how to do the hands-only version. That's right, hands-only. No more mouth-to-mouth; in fact that sometimes-off-putting technique is so frequently done incorrectly that hands-only has better success. And when folks know this simple technique, survival rates skyrocket. Dr. Oz and the Red Cross made a how-to app: Google “S.O.S. by the American Red Cross” for a free download. So, we're on a CPR campaign! Here's our short course.
1. Check to make sure the person has stopped breathing and has no heartbeat. If the person moves or pushes you away, stop administering CPR.
2. Dial 911.
3. Placing one of your hands on top of the other; put a palm against the person's breastbone -- right in the middle of the chest -- and push down hard and rapidly. The chest should compress about 2 inches. Press at least 100 times a minute or more.
4. Keep at it until you are too tired or until help arrives. If CPR is started within 4 minutes of collapse, and if defibrillation -- that's electric shock with the paddles -- is given within 10 minutes, a person has a 40 percent chance of survival.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.