Teenage youth under the age of 18, children who younger, toddlers, and even babies can experience a cardiac arrest (commonly called a “heart attack”). The most frequent type of cardiac arrest in babies is “sudden infant death syndrome.” In sudden infant death syndrome, the baby’s heart stops working, sometimes for no apparent reason.
The doctors who specialize in Family Practice in Las Vegas encourage all adult members who are physically capable of providing CPR to learn the technique. Having knowledge of proper CPR technique helps parents save the lives of their children.
Some recent statistics published in the medical journal, Family Practice News, are encouraging. Some of the research shows areas that need improvement. Doctors label heart attacks that happen outside of a hospital setting as out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA). When a person nearby provides CPR the doctors call this bystander CPR (BCPR).
The research study, of over two thousand cardiac arrests in children, noted that almost half of them received BCPR when they experienced a heart attack. For the children who received BCPR outside the home 34% survived, compared to only 15% who did not receive BCPR. For the children who received BCPR in the home 11% survived, compared to only 7% who did not receive BCPR.
The sad reason for the less effectiveness of BCPR in the home is that 47% of the cardiac arrest victims were babies. BCPR is effective when applied immediately after a cardiac arrest. After just a few minutes, it is too late. In many cases, the babies that died from sudden infant death syndrome were thought to be sleeping in their cribs, when they were actually dead. Family Practice doctors in Las Vegas recommend monitoring devices that alert caregivers in the home when an infant is having a heart attack.
The American Heart Association recommends hands-only CPR, also called compression CPR. This is the most effective method. If a person suddenly falls down, and there is no pulse or heart beat, put one palm in the center of the chest, put the other palm on top of the first one, press hard and fast on the chest to the rhythm of a disco dance song beat. The song that is easy to remember and use for the proper rhythm is “Stayin’ Alive.”
Chances of survival strongly improve when a person receives bystander CPR. Using monitoring systems that warn if an infant has a cardiac arrest, helps provide BCPR in time to save them.
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