CPR and saving a life

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

June 11, 2009

From the Health Team and our Heart Matters partners at University Hospital.

CPR can save a life if it's done right. A lot of technology surrounding CPR procedures has evolved and changed, but the general concept of the A-B-C's (airway, breathing and circulation) has not changed.

Cardiologist Janet Utz at University Hospital says it's important that patients understand the outcome of CPR. A survey shows about 60 percent of people thought it was a quick process that usually had a good outcome.

Dr. Utz says that's not always the case -- especially in the case of someone who is seriously ill. "Usually on television when people have CPR the next thing you know everybody looks fine and everybody lives happily ever after. Unfortunately that's not really the case. Honestly, less 20% of people who have been ill will actually survive their CPR event, and even worse, less than half of those people will retain their normal brain function."

CPR can be done in different ways, using chest compression's, ventilation, AED shocks or medication.

Dr. Utz also emphasizes the importance of families talking about DNR's or do not resuscitate requests. It's a sensitive topic but should be discussed just like organ donations, or living wills.

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