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Mouth to Mouth CPR

First aid and CPR course and re-certification standards change approximately every 5 years. These changes are recommended through a large statistics and research group called the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR). A lot of focus in the past few years has been on compression only CPR. This strong focus on compression only CPR has cause many instructors and rescuers to sway away from mouth to mouth resuscitation. Mouth to mouth artificial respiration is the most effective method of ventilation’s for victims requiring CPR outside of using advanced medical equipment.

When a patient requires CPR and has absent vitals the victims body is oxygen starved. Chest compression’s can help circulate the blood, however, without sufficient oxygen the artificially circulated blood will be ineffective of maintaining all of the bodies vital organs. Mouth to mouth respiration’s are the ideal method of ventilation’s as they do not require any advanced equipment or significant training. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation provide a excellent seal to ensure that no air escapes during ventilation’s. Rescuers will also have a good awareness if the ventilation’s they provide are being obstructed or not. The quickest method of providing CPR is via chest compression’s combined with mouth-to-mouth ventilation’s. Retrieving or using a pocket mask or other barrier device equipment can take crucial seconds and even minutes away from vital and effective CPR. With mouth-to-mouth resuscitation the rescuer is not delayed in any way from providing artificial ventilation’s. Mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration’s are easily the most effective and simple method of ventilation’s for CPR. No other method, outside of the hospital is as effective.

Other methods, such as pocket masks, can be difficult to use, have complications with proper seals and make it difficult for rescuers to maintain a necessary open airway during ventilation’s. Furthermore, carrying a pocket mask can be cumbersome and difficult. They are large and shaped awkwardly so they do not fit comfortably into any pocket or purse. Mouth-to-mouth ventilation’s do not require any additional equipment.

The only negative to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is the opportunity for disease transmission. Although the chances of disease transmission are extremely low, less than 2%, it can be a frightening experience for good Samaritan rescuers that need to await test results to determine if they have transmitted a disease after doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a victim with transferable diseases.  Participants that take first aid and CPR training are also taught compression-only CPR techniques in situations that the rescuer feel’s uncomfortable doing artificial respiration’s. This situations include victim’s that are obvious substance abusers or victim’s with a significant amount of bodily fluid within the mouth (blood, vomit, etc.)

As CPR changes and becomes more focused on compression’s the rescuer’s and first aid and CPR instructor’s should continue to promote mouth-to-mouth ventilation’s. This form of artificial respiration is still the most effective and beneficial method of providing ventilation’s during CPR.


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