Classes begin Saturday for new CPR guidelines

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

April 6, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2011 at 11:06 p.m.

Rafael De La Garza

Rafael De La Garza

Rafael De La Garza has practiced and followed CPR guidelines for about 33 years.

But new American Heart Association guidelines that were issued in October has now changed all that.

De La Garza, the coordinator and instructor of EMS continuing education at Victoria College, received the information packets from the association early this week and is ready to get healthcare providers and the general public up-to-date.

The association used to follow the ABC rule: airway, breathing and circulation. Now, the association says ventilation and opening the airway first is not nearly as important as compressions because it does not keep oxygen flowing.

De La Garza is confident in the new guidelines, he said.

"Our save rate will be going up because of these guidelines," he said.

Almost 50 percent of patients experiencing cardiac arrest can be saved with the new guidelines as opposed to the old guidelines which saved anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of patients.

De La Garza talked about what medical professionals and the public need to know.

What are the new guidelines?

Healthcare providers will be doing 30 compressions to every two ventilations. Once a heart rhythm is read, they will continue with the ventilations.

The general public will just do compressions until EMS arrives. If a defibrillator is at hand, they can use that to flat line the patient and then continue with compressions.

Why is there new guidelines now for CPR?

The American Heart Association figured out through studies that compressions are what saves lives, ventilations don't give as much oxygen to the patient as we once thought. We definitely needed to change the guidelines to include more compressions.

How important is it to be certified with these new guidelines?

It's very important because all healthcare providers are held accountable for what they do in the field and we are held accountable according to what the standard of care is at the time for the industry. The studies have determined that these changes are what need to be implemented. It's of utmost important.

Do you feel these new guidelines are just?

It's been proven already, we are seeing drastic changes even here in Victoria where our save rate for compression only CPR and for this continuous CPR is really working. We are saving lives and we are increasing our save rate.



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