While standing in line at the library a man in front of you suddenly grasps his chest and drops to the floor. You quickly realize that the man is not breathing and doesn’t have a pulse. Someone calls 911 from their cell phone and the dispatcher assures them the paramedics are on the way.
What happens next may very well be the difference between life and death.
Lakes Region EMS Paramedics and EMTs are teaching American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for CPR that prioritize chest compressions for bystanders trying to revive people whose hearts have stopped.
The AHA based these new guidelines on research that showed that bystanders are more likely to perform compression-only CPR on strangers. A bystander should compress the victim’s chest 100 times a minute to a depth of about 2 inches, keeping blood and oxygen flowing to the brain.
Lakes Region EMS provides Emergency Medical Dispatchers for all 911 medical emergency calls.
These dispatchers are able to provide instructions to a caller for CPR or any other medical emergency. They will stay on the phone while making sure that Lakes Region EMS is responding.
The dispatchers will provide updates to the Paramedics so they have the information even before they arrive on scene. The new compression only CPR Guideline is already being used when someone calls for a person whose heart has stopped.
“With these changes we hope that more people will perform CPR,” Paramedic John Fox said in an interview. “Training for CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) are lifesaving skills everyone should know.”
Lakes Region EMS has been a strong advocate and catalyst for obtaining funding, training and equipping the local Public Access AED program. Located in many public places including schools, government buildings, churches, and shopping centers it is very likely one will be available in an emergency.
The combination of early chest compression CPR and defibrillation increase the chance for survival significantly.
Lakes Region EMS offers a free CPR Class to the public each month and other low cost courses are available throughout the year. To register or schedule a course, contact John Fox at 651-277-4911 or [email protected]