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HOW IS IT THAT RESCUE BREATHING ISN’T NECESSARY FOR PROPER CPR? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Hemoglobin is the name of the oxygen carrying molecule inside red blood cells.  It is this molecule that delivers oxygen to tissues and keeps them alive, using air we breath in.  But when the heart stops suddenly and breathing ceases, CPR including rescue breathing was developed to keep us alive.  Now two new studies in the New England Journal of Medicine show that chest compressions only are needed at first.  Myron Weisfeldt, chief of medicine at Johns Hopkins and a CPR expert, explains why.

WEISFELDT: If you have a sudden cardiac arrest where your heart stops out of the blue without any warning there is enough air in the lungs so that the hemoglobin is well oxygenated for at least three or four minutes after cardiac arrest occurs.  The more important issue is are you doing chest compression forcefully and without interruption.  Are you getting blood flow to the brain enough so that what oxygen is in the blood is actually getting to the brain?    :30

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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