Disco beat will save a life

2016-11-08 06:00

There’s a call for capability to save a life and a beat from the Bee Gees can make a difference.

South Africa’s National CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Week is highlighted this week until Thursday to raise awareness to help increase bystander response rates in emergencies.

“The unfortunate reality is that 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home, with less than half of this number receiving early CPR,” says Dr Adrian McCann, clinical manager of the Life Kingsbury Emergency Unit in Claremont.

“Early CPR can double or even triple someone’s chances of survival, yet less than 60 years ago CPR was a new idea.”

McCann explains that on 16 September 1960 Dr Peter Safar took to the podium at the annual Maryland Medical Society meeting. The moderator introduced him, saying: “Our purpose today is to bring to you this new idea.”

So new was “this idea” that it didn’t even have a name, and little did anyone know that it would revolutionise the care of critically ill patients.

“Up until this point people only guessed as to what to do when someone’s heart stopped, after a drowning for example. Safar was the first to formalise an easy to do and easy to teach system that was proven to work,” says McCann. “CPR has changed little over the years, although teaching methods have evolved with technology (and pop culture).”

McCann adds that the most important, and very first thing, that you need to do when somebody collapses is call emergency services.

“Time is critical when somebody’s heart stops or has a cardiac arrest.

“Then, when you have told the emergency services that the person has collapsed and where to find you, it is time to “stay alive”. According to the American Heart Association, the most effective way to perform CPR is to push hard on the centre of the chest to the beat of the Bee Gees disco classic “Stayin’ Alive”.

“Should you get a chance, make sure the victim’s mouth and throat are clear of obstructions, then give two full breaths. Don’t be concerned if you forget to do these or are unsure how to do them as the most important thing is to keep the blood moving by doing the ‘musical compressions’.”

McCann recommends that anyone of any age should do an American Heart Association Family and Friends CPR course. This 3-hour course will equip you with the vital skills to save a loved one’s life.

V To get an idea watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A0nAKWTewI.

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