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Bystanders obligated to help heart victims: ER docs

Discussion in 'General Practitioner' started by Egyptian Doctor, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

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    Every Canadian should be willing to offer CPR when they witness someone in
    cardiac arrest ”“ even if they've never been trained in it, says the group
    representing Canada's emergency room doctors.

    In a position statement on "bystander" CPR, the Canadian Association of
    Emergency Physicians says every Canadian ought to be trained in CPR and they
    ought to be willing to offer it.

    "It must become a moral obligation and a social expectation that bystanders
    will perform CPR when they witness a cardiac arrest," the group writes in a
    position statement, published Thursday in the Canadian Journal of Emergency
    Medicine.

    "...There must be widespread recognition that CPR is a simple but vital life
    skill everyone should learn and then put into practice in emergency situations."

    Dr. Christian Vaillancourt, an emergency room doctor at The Ottawa Hospital
    and one of the lead authors of the position statement, says he and his
    colleagues see too many cases of missed opportunities where someone's life might
    have been saved if CPR had been given quickly.

    "Many more lives can be saved, but we need stronger inducements and a
    systematic approach to ensure more people in the community are prepared and
    ready to perform CPR," he said in a statement.

    That's why the CAEP says it wants CPR training to be mandatory for all
    Canadian high school students. CPR education is optional in many schools, but
    the group says it should be a pre-requisite for students to earn a high school
    diploma.

    The group would also like to see tax exemptions for companies that offer
    certified CPR training courses to their employees, and tax breaks for those
    people who take the training.

    More than 20,000 people go into cardiac arrest outside of hospital every year
    in Canada, most of them while at home. But less than 10 per cent of these people
    survive, the CAEP notes. That's in part because only a quarter of people who
    suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive bystander CPR.

    The group says that doubling that rate could save 2,000 lives a year.

    Pierre Poirier, the executive director of the Paramedic Association of Canada
    says his group supports the CAEP's position.

    "Paramedics often see firsthand the benefits of CPR. We know these patients
    have the best chance for survival. Paramedics are proud to support the CAEP
    recommendations for CPR," he said in a statement.

    CPR involves pushing deeply on the chest to manually pump blood through the
    heart. While the procedure sometimes helps to restart the heart, its main
    purpose is to maintain partial flow of blood to the brain and heart.

    The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada updated its guidelines in 2010 to
    simplify CPR training. They now recommend that untrained bystanders and those
    who don't want to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation can simply offer chest
    compressions to adults in cardiac arrest.

    Studies show that it's the chest compressions that are most important for
    getting the heartbeat restored.

    Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. The victim
    usually passes out and stops breathing. It is different from a heart attack,
    which occurs when muscle tissue begins to die but the heart continues to
    beat.

    Source : Bystanders obligated to help heart victims: ER docs - CTV News
     

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