Banner Health Services  

Chest Compression CPR

Dr. Winchell  

Joseph Winchell, D.O., is the medical director of emergency services at the Banner Desert and Cardon Children’s Emergency Center.

Question: I've heard that CPR guidelines have recently changed, and "mouth to mouth" is no longer recommended. What is the best approach to perform CPR?

Answer: The American Heart Association has recently updated its recommendations related to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for adults. The organization now advises performing chest compressions only on unconscious adults because earlier "mouth to mouth" recommendations have not proven effective.

Bystander CPR, which involves a person performing chest compressions on an unconscious adult presumed to be in cardiac arrest, has been shown to triple the survival rates of cardiac arrest victims when initiated as early as possible. Not only are these individuals given a second chance at life, but in a majority of cases, they remain neurologically intact, meaning they suffer little or no brain injury.

Local 911 dispatchers are now being trained to guide callers through the process of performing chest compressions on unconscious adult victims when appropriate, even before the fire department arrives. In fact, the Mesa Fire Department has fully embraced this approach and leads the nation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates with victims retaining full neurological function.

However, CPR guidelines for children still include the use of “mouth to mouth” breathing with chest compressions. When children suffer cardiac arrest or are unconscious, it usually results from a breathing problem caused by an event like drowning. In these situations, the traditional combination of “mouth to mouth” with chest compressions is the most effective approach. And while it is absolutely crucial to watch children around water, in the event of a drowning emergency, performing early CPR can increase survival rates for children, just as it does for adults.


July 7: Free compression-only CPR class
Attend a free class at Banner Desert Medical Center (1400 S. Dobson Road in Mesa) from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 7, to learn how to perform compression-only CPR on adults. Instruction will be provided by a registered nurse. No prior medical knowledge is needed. To register, visit www.bannerhealth.com/230care or call 602-230CARE (2273).

Page Last Modified: 06/13/2012
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