Dr.Karol, MD

The doctor with alternative solutions

Every Second Counts: Cardiac Arrest and CPR

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Cardiac arrest refers to the total cessation of heart activity, usually caused by a heart attack, i.e., by a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart due to cholesterol plaques.

I recently posted a link on my Facebook page about new research that was done on patients who underwent cardiac arrest in a hospital setting. The hospital setting is obviously the best place to have a heart attack due to the availability of trained staff and proper resuscitation equipment.

CPR Saves Lives

When a heart attack happens outside of the hospital, the chances of survival drop by 20% with each passing minute without Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). This is why it is so crucial to know the basics of CPR and perform this emergency procedure — even on strangers — while awaiting an ambulance. By the way, calling an ambulance is the first step in the CPR procedure. A lot of people that know and begin CPR forget about this because of all the commotion and the seriousness of the situation. They go into the procedure immediately because they want to save a life, but overlook calling the ambulance.

Performing CPR until an ambulance arrives triples the chances of survival. Here are some other interesting stats:

  • 88% of cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital.
  • Out of this 88%, only 37% involve CPR from a bystander.
  • The person requiring CPR will most likely be a loved one or a co-worker.

What to Do

The rules are simple: Someone who is lying on the ground not breathing needs CPR. CPR continues to benefit the patient even if it is performed for more than 40 minutes.

The procedure is simple:

  1. Tilt the head back (when the patient is on their back flat on the ground) and lift the chin.
  2. Pinch the nose and give two breaths mouth to mouth.
  3. Then start chest compressions right in the middle of the chest. Do them deep and strong. If you break the ribs, don’t worry. This means that you are performing the procedure correctly. Ribs can be reattached easily after the patient arrives in the hospital.
  4. There are 10 compressions for every two breaths. It is as simple as that.

There are only two exceptions. One is when the patient has vomit in his mouth (e.g., in the case of a heroin overdose). In this case, he or she needs to be turned on the side so the vomit can exit the mouth. If you are not too grossed out, you can help get the vomit out with your hand. Do not perform CPR until the mouth is clear. Another exception is when the person has blood in his mouth. In this case, you risk contracting HIV or another communicable disease. It’s your call. Is it a loved one whom you know does not have HIV, or is it an unknown heroin user?

In my next blog, I will talk about the research that has shown that people experience an out of body experience during cardiac arrest. I meant to talk about that today, but got a little side-tracked by CPR because of my physician training. Once I get started on a life saving procedure, I have to finish it. It’s too important.

And by the way, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Dr. Karol

For more sage advice from Dr. Karol and for natural health product recommendations, visit vitarock.com

Author: Dr. Karol, MD

Alternative medicine expert, educator, medical health advisor and author. Recognized as a health expert who is highly knowledgeable in conventional medicine, supplementation, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition and diet and exercise programs. Karol graduated with a B.Sc. with distinction from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Following this Karol completed a doctor of medicine degree as well as the medical post-graduation internship in Europe. Karol started his media career by hosting the radio Radical Remedies portion of The Natural Health Show. The Natural Health Show brings together a collection of health experts to discuss natural health solutions in a way that’s easy to understand. Karol also speaks on health matters and the potential of healthy ingredients on video blogs and at health tradeshows. He currently works closely with and represents some of Canada’s leading health product companies. Karol is currently the Medical Director of Vitarock.com, an online store for all things healthy. Here Karol reviews the products considered by Vitarock to ensure they meet the company’s four core pillars; to be pure, green, safe and fair. He also interacts directly with Vitarock’s online shoppers, being available by phone to provide a free medical consultation and to recommend the best possible products. He is also a senior advisor for dicentra, one of Canada’s leading regulatory and scientific consulting firms. Karol reviews science and compiles reports for Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help companies bring new and exciting products and ingredients to market. His overall philosophy is that as a society we should implement a more personal approach to our existing medical system showing more empathy, personal attention, as well as emotional and psychological support to individuals in need of help. He also believes in the value of integrating modern Western medical practice with natural remedies, exercise, time spent with nature, and a healthy diet rich in super foods.

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