Revealing the Most Common Myths About CPR

The most common myths about CPR

The aim of this article is to draw your attention to revealing the common myths about CPR. In the sections below, we will list what we know are only rumors in the folklore medical world and describe each of them thoroughly. 

In particular, this article will be engaging for general interest by debunking the common myths about CPR. Its goal is to increase awareness of each individual about the importance of gaining the right information for this practice.

To put it in simpler words, we will expose the truth, not just by attacking the inaccuracies  out there but also by getting into the CPR practice from various aspects. The first thing we’ll do is reveal to you the existence of misinformation and exaggeration of this concept. 

Keep on reading below as we introduce the most usual urban legends that circle around this definition.

Dissolving the Myths About CPR

Despite the pervasiveness of the CPR practice, it continues to be a concept that makes people feel confused. This misunderstanding either comes from spreading misinformation or just from a lack of knowledge of what CPR stands for and how it works.

Whether you’re a health care provider, a CPR certified expert, or a compassionate individual with no medical background whatsoever, getting to learn the truth about these urban legends can help you care for others more competently. 

In the following text, you can read the list of a few Myths About CPR on how CPR certification is important so that you can understand better how crucial it is to know the concept.

  1. CPR is Best Performed Mouth-to-Mouth

One of the most mentioned falsehoods about CPR practice is the seemingly mandatory rule of giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or breathing to a patient – also known as rescue breaths. 

The 2020 CPR guidelines state that an expert CPR practitioner should initiate CPR upon someone who may be experiencing cardiac arrest as soon as possible. However, it’s best to stick to hands-only CPR instead of giving rescue breaths. 

This is because, during the first few minutes of the cardiac arrest, the victim’s body still contains oxygen in his lungs and bloodstream. By starting with chest compressions rather than rescue breathing on someone who’s unresponsive, the CPR technique can normally initiate a sending signal to the brain and heart with more oxygen without delay.

Since 2008, the American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care committee has even encouraged using only chest compression without ventilation for adults. All of this proves that performing hands-only CPR or chest compression is the most effective way of giving someone cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

  1. Good Samaritan Laws Will Not Protect Bystander CPR Providers

This is another one of the general Myths About CPR due to lack of knowledge and fear of being sued. In a cardiac arrest, every second past is a crucial one because the patient’s likelihood of survival rapidly gets unfavorable by 10%.

In the middle ground between a full recovery and complete organ shutdown is where the Good Samaritan laws enter. They are designed to protect bystander performances (on the spot) and reassure people that they can step in and help out a victim without being legally persecuted. 

The existence of the Good Samaritan legislation is to protect persons acting in good faith from being held accountable for any accidental injury they may do. Specialized CPR performers in lifesaving measures are normally free from liability thanks to the Good Samaritan legislation. Generally, from this, we can confirm that you can’t be prosecuted for giving CPR to someone in need.

However, you can be sued for performing the practice as a layperson CPR performer, but you can break free from confinement by being well informed about the local regulations. Furthermore, by the general agreement of the unwritten laws of ethics, as a well-informed individual, you are obliged to respond with help to save a person’s life.

  1. Defibrillation and CPR are Competing Life-Saving Practices 

Defibrillator versus CPR is not a competition but rather a close association. Namely, three groups of dysrhythmias can initiate a cardiac arrest: ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT), pulseless electrical activity (PEA), and asystole. The most common cardiac arrest found in out-of-hospital is VF. 

During VF or VT, the CPR technique increases oxygenation and perfusion to the lungs, while defibrillation reinforces a feasible cardiac rhythm. 

As the American Heart Association has stated, around 350,000 people suffer from sudden heart stops every year in the US, with a likelihood of survival of less than 15%. It is no wonder that the American Red Cross also emphasizes training for both AED (automated external defibrillator and CPR practices used hand-in-hand when performing resuscitation. Survival rates can rise rapidly by having more out-of-hospital public AEDs. 

  1. A License Is Required for CPR Performance 

This is one of the very common Myths About CPR. CPR performance is mostly an act that should be done either by a trained individual or a health care provider. However, it is a myth that you need to be certified in order to perform CPR in an emergency situation.

In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that untrained individuals should perform compression-only CPR until emergency medical experts arrive. An effective method to ensure that CPR is provided is by calling 911 so you can be guided with further instructions by using T-CPR (telephone CPR). Contrary to belief, T-CPR can be your assistance and help you perform the most effective CPR practice. 

Even though it’s confirmed that every individual is capable of saving a life and that you don’t have to be a licensed rescuer, it is still encouraged for everyone to take first aid courses. Formal learning will help you remain calm when someone faces dysrhythmia in front of you.

  1. CPR Vs. Heart Attack

We often misunderstand the difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack. Because of a lack of knowledge and misinformation on this topic, we can misinterpret the need for CPR action. 

Namely, in a heart attack, the blood flow to the heart is blocked. This is usually because an artery is blocked, which can be a result of cardiovascular disease. This blockage can be small or significantly big – to the point where it completely stops the blood flow, resulting in an immediate and stronger heart attack. 

On the other hand, cardiac arrest is when the heart stops working and thus stops pumping blood to the body. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, they may feel lightheaded and shortness of breath at first, followed by complete loss of consciousness, and in more severe cases, complete loss of pulse and breathing.

Having this in mind, CPR is used for cardiac arrests, where compressions (and, in some cases, rescue breaths) are needed to keep the heart beating. However, this technique can become a crucial lifesaving method for a heart attack as well if it progresses into a cardiac arrest. 

Understanding Myths About CPR

As you may have noticed, there are plenty of misconceptions about CPR, which is why raising awareness on this topic is highly required. Many believe that CPR is a technique that can be performed only under certain conditions and by certain people that have gained accredited certificates for it.

Although being a CPR certified specialist is beneficial, there is no rule that states that a layperson can’t give CPR when in need. Debunking all the common myths about CPR is crucial as it would allow everyone to lend a helping hand when the situation calls for it.

According to AHA, immediate CPR can help save lives, as around 46% of people who’ve experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were given help by bystanders. So, regardless of the myths, there are two things you need to remember in this situation: call 9-1-1 and then give CPR until the healthcare providers arrive at the scene.