Push hard. Push fast. Yeah, that's what they all say.
When we're teaching folks how to do Hands-Only CPR with nothing more than 15 minutes at the mall or as a fun activity in the county fair, we tell them to speed it up rather than slow it down. If they've seen CPR in the past, there's a decent chance the version they learned in elementary school had them counting by thousands or slipping 'and' in between each compression. That's too slow, we admonish today. We need to speed it up a notch.
But is there such a thing as too fast? Could the rate you pump on the chest be too quick for proper blood flow?
A recent study in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, indicates that indeed, you can pump too fast. As it turns out, doing chest compressions faster than 125 per minute leads to fewer people getting pulses back after a cardiac arrest.
The AHA 2010 CPR Guidelines say to push on the chest at a rate of at least 100 per minute. Stayin' Alive is a little faster than that. So get your groove on and keep to the rhythm so you don't get too far ahead of yourself.
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