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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sarver Center director touts new resuscitation method

    Cardiac arrest victims need not hold their breath any longer, as a new technique for resuscitation has emerged.

    Dr. Gordon Ewy, director of the UA’s Sarver Heart Center, and a CPR research group have pioneered a new type of CPR known as cardio-cerebral resuscitation.

    CCR is meant to treat cardiac arrest victims. Cardiac arrest is when the heart abruptly ceases to function. A victim will show signs of unconsciousness, stop breathing normally and lose pulse and blood pressure. Within minutes of these symptoms, a person can die.

    CCR involves 100 forceful chest compressions per minute with no mouth to mouth.

    “”It is simpler in that we have eliminated the mouth-to-mouth breathing step. What counts are seconds and minutes. The goal is to get the blood circulating,”” said Karl B. Kern, professor of medicine at the College of Medicine and director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at University Medical Center.

    It is suggested that bystanders work in teams to complete the 100 compressions, said Lani Clark, director of research and

    quality improvement for ADHS Bureau of EMS at the Sarver Heart Center.

    “”Compressions, for them to be effective, have to be fast and forceful. People tend to do them too slowly,”” Clark said. “”Most lay people can’t do 100 compressions in a minute so we suggest that people do team compressions.””

    Ewy said in the July 23 issue of Newsweek that it was not necessary to supply the lungs with additional oxygen, adding that it is necessary to get blood flowing to the heart and brain. He explained that it can be accomplished through chest compressions alone.

    “”A person has oxygen in their lungs, blood and airways. The important thing to do is to circulate the blood. That is the purpose of chest compressions,”” Clark said.

    Researchers at Sarver have separated CCR into protocol for paramedics and bystanders.

    “”The layperson’s (protocol) is very simple – call 911 and start chest compression,”” Clark said. “”The purpose is to keep the person viable until the paramedics get there. The new paramedic protocol emphasizes continued chest compressions.””

    The Sarver Center has worked in

    coordination with the Arizona Department of Health Services on a program to spread CCR statewide. It is called the SHARE (Save Hearts in Arizona Registry and Education) program. The program was responsible for sharing the technique with 50 fire departments around Arizona.

    This technique has lead to increase in survival rates by nearly triple since its inception, Kern said.

    “”We have seen some pretty remarkable things since we started working on it – for example, how (CCR) spread throughout Tucson and Phoenix,”” he said. “”We would like to see this move nationally and even internationally.””

    The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross endorse compression-only CPR for those who are unwilling or unable to give mouth to mouth. The AHA also suggests that emergency dispatchers should advise bystanders to use the compression-only method.

    “”I want all the students at the UA to learn this,”” Clark said. “”We have never held a mass training for students before, but we should.””

    Clark said it takes only about 10 minutes to learn the new procedure. There is no formal certification for the technique, however. Those required to be certified, like for a job, will continued to be certified in CPR.

    To learn the procedure, contact Daniele Stolte at 626-4083 for information about a demonstration class. They are held at UMC on the first Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in the Duval Auditorium.

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