Health Workers Hope New Guidelines Save More Lives

Topeka (WIBW) - Topeka area health professionals hope new CPR guidelines will save more lives.

The American Heart Association released the changes this week.

Dani Patterson-Kash, RN, who is the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Coordinator for Stormont-Vail HealthCare, says, in the past, it was all about the ABCs. After checking responsiveness, you would check the victims airway, give them rescue breaths, then begin chest compressions. Under the new guidelines, you would check responsiveness, then immediately begin compressions, saving the airway and breathing for later, if it's done at all.

Patterson-Kash says studies show the compressions are the most important piece of the puzzle. She says, when a person goes down, their blood is still oxygenated and the compressions will keep the oxygen in the blood circulating through the heart and brain.

Patterson-Kash says the new guidelines could relieve the fears some people had about initiating mouth-to-mouth contact with a stranger in order to help. She says, now, more people might be willing to step in and more lives will be saved.

The guidelines still call for doing rescue breathing on newborns and also on drowning victims, who may have been deprived of oxygen.

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