Saving lives became easier thanks to this ‘CPR Giant’
Dr. Gordon Ewy
Almost everyone has heard of CPR, the procedure that improves survival rates among those who go into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital.
But what most people don’t know is that bystanders perform CPR less than one-third of the time that it’s needed. Why? Research finds they fear they’ll do it wrong, face legal liability or risk infection from mouth-to-mouth respiration.
That’s why cardiologist Gordon Ewy and his colleagues at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center began researching the outcomes of performing chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth respiration. They persuaded the emergency services director in Arizona to promote the use of compression-only CPR.
The results were remarkable. Dr. Ewy and his colleagues showed that uninterrupted, high-quality chest compressions were important for keeping blood circulating to vital organs. Further, they found that stopping compressions frequently, such as to breathe into a victim’s mouth, actually led to worse outcomes.
The work of Dr. Ewy and his colleagues was funded for many years by the American Heart Association – allowing them to continue a three decades-long search for better ways to do CPR.
For his contributions to advancing CPR technique and defibrillation, the American
Heart Association designated Dr. Ewy a “CPR Giant.”
Your donation to the American Heart Association can help support more giants like Dr. Ewy in the search for lifesaving answers.
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