Effective compressions are vital when performing CPR. Survival and prevention of long-term disability is linked to the proper administration of CPR plus early defibrillation. Proper technique involves two phases. The brief “release” after each compression is just as important as the “downward” push. The “upstroke” allows the heart to refill with collateral blood, so that when you push ‘down’ again, you are maintaining circulation. So, how fast do you push? Here’s a couple of ways you can set the pace:
1. Push fast enough to give 100 or more compressions within a 60 second time frame. That means you are pushing quicker than 1X per second.
2. Push as fast as you can, and still ‘release’ briefly on the upstroke.
How can you keep the beat when performing compressions? The American Heart Association has identified several tunes that are set to the pace of about 100 beats per minute:
1. For those who are close to my vintage, you should remember “staying alive‘ by the Bee Gees
2. Maybe classic rock is more your style. “Another one bites the dust” by Queen is also set at 100 beats per minute.
3. Prefer something without lyrics? The American Heart Association has created the Hands Symphony.
Our suggestion is to download one of these tunes to your smartphone. Performing CPR is physically exhausting. Research demonstrates that rescuers always slow down after 2 minutes. Playing the beat on your phone may help you, or another rescuer, keep the proper pace. And, as always, sign-up for a CPR Certification class to fine tune your skills. Check our schedule of Illinois CPR classes. We also have CPR classes in Downers Grove. And, remember, push hard and fast.