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St John formulating a view on Hands-Only CPR

St John Media Release: St John formulating a view on Hands-Only CPR

1 April 2007

St John is reviewing the detail on an American Heart Association directive which calls for bystander Hands-Only CPR (without mouth to mouth breaths) for adults who suddenly collapse out of hospital, St John Chief Executive Jaimes Wood said today.

The American Heart Association still recommends conventional CPR (i.e. a combination of breaths and compressions) for other cases – such as infants and children, and adults found already unconscious and not breathing normally.

St John is currently reviewing the directive and will make an announcement soon, Mr Wood said.

“Our Medical Director and his colleagues in our Clinical Management Group are evaluating the American Heart Association material and formulating a position,” Mr Wood said. “We are not surprised by the move. We are aware of work that has been done in this area.”

The American Heart Association position is in line with the changes we have made to St John public first aid training courses - where we have been focused on making the teaching, remembering and performing of CPR easier.

For example, we have for some time been saying that if anyone is having trouble doing the mouth to mouth – do the chest compressions. Particularly in adults, the 30 compressions are more important than the 2 breaths. The American Heart Association has gone further by saying it is preferential not to do the breaths for adults who suddenly collapse out of hospital.

“We will not confirm any formal change in our recommended practices until our Clinical Management Group have completed the appropriate processes. We are also actively discussing this issue with the New Zealand Resuscitation Council,” Mr Wood said.

The New Zealand public will recognise we have moved fast to adapt to the previous change in medical thinking from 15 compressions to 30 compressions in CPR training. St John is a contemporary organisation and adopter of innovative initiatives that are evidence based. “We are committed to keeping St John and New Zealand at the vanguard of CPR intervention. St John is totally committed to increasing bystander CPR rates,” Mr Wood said.


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