CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.— The new CPR protocol in
"Science proves that less time with the actual heart beat, the less time you get good circulation [and] the less chance you have of reviving the patient," said Michael Bolinksy, a paramedic at West Shore EMS.
Called “high functioning” or “high performance” CPR, this revised method requires emergency medical service personnel to go straight into compressions for 10 minutes at a rate of 100 to 120 a minute without giving any breaths.
The old CPR protocol calls for 30 compressions with two breaths.
"Thirty compressions is difficult,” said Bolinsky. “To keep it up for a rate of 100, and to make it fully functional so that the heart can actually profuse is very, very energy consuming."
To ease the demand on EMTs and paramedics, they can use a "pit crew style" technique by rotating every 100 compressions.
Although the revised CPR protocol signals an improvement in the process of saving lives, paramedics say it should not be used on just anyone, including children.
"If we found that it's a patient that's got a lot of down time, or CPR wasn't started, we're pretty much recommended to go with the older version because we don't know for sure if it was one hundred percent caused by the heart," said Bolinsky.
Those at West Short EMS say administering high performance CPR is more tiring and requires more staff, but ultimately, they think the new protocol will help save more lives.