Archive - Jul 31, 2012 - SCA Article

Archive - Jul 31, 2012 - SCA Article


Faster Isn't Always Better with CPR

NEW YORK--Doing CPR too fast can mean chest compressions aren't deep enough to get blood flowing to the heart and brain, a new study from Belgium suggests.

Researchers found that when rescuers pushed at a rate above 145 compressions per minute, the depth of those compressions dropped to less than four centimeters.

Recommendations from Europe and the United States now both call for compressions to be at least five centimeters (about two inches) deep, at a rate of 100 per minute or faster.

"The idea is that with each compression you move a little blood through the body and so if you go faster and deeper you might be moving more blood," said Dr. Benjamin Abella, an emergency medicine doctor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who wasn't involved in the new study.

But, "If you push faster, it stands to reason that you might end up pushing shallower," he said.

Dana Vollmer Overcomes Heart Condition to Win Olympic Gold

Swimmer Dana Vollmer joined the London Olympics highlight reel when she set a record in the 100-meter butterfly on Sunday, becoming the first woman ever to finish the event in less than 56 seconds. For the 24-year-old American swimmer, capturing the gold was something of a redemption, coming four years after she failed to qualify for the team at the Beijing Olympics. But one of the most compelling aspects of Ms. Vollmer’s story is that she overcame not only athletic stumbles on her way to the gold but also a potentially deadly heart condition.

At the age of 15, already an elite swimmer, Ms. Vollmer, from Granbury, Tex., was taken to a local doctor after experiencing dizzy spells while training. Doctors discovered she had an abnormal heartbeat and set up a procedure to correct it. But they then discovered she had a genetic cardiac electrical disorder called long QT syndrome, which could lead at any moment to sudden cardiac arrest.

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