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Ewy is one of the authors of a recently published U.S. study that showed more people survived cardiac arrest when a bystander gave them hands-only CPR, compared to CPR with breaths.
The guidelines issued Monday also say that rescuers should be pushing deeper, at least 2 inches in adults. Rescuers should pump the chest of the victim at a rate of at least 100 compressions a minute -- some say a good guide is the beat of the old disco song "Stayin' Alive."
Dr. Ahamed Idris, of the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, said people are sometimes afraid that they'll hurt the patient. Others have a hard time judging how hard they are pressing, he said.
"We want to make sure people understand they're not going to hurt the person they're doing CPR on by pressing as hard as they can," he said.
Idris, who directs the Dallas-Fort Worth Center for Resuscitation Research, said that for the last two years, they've been advising local paramedics to start with chest compressions and keep them up with minimal interruptions. That, along with intensive training, has helped improve survival rates, he said.
He said they found paramedics hadn't been starting compressions until the patient was in the ambulance and lost time getting airway equipment together.
"The best chance was to start chest compressions in the house, immediately," he said.
American Heart Association:
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