Tue, 05/15/2012

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

What is to do in case of cardiac arrest? Call the emergency line but then? Dr. Thomas Schulz, Senior Physician at Martin Luther Hospital answered these questions on Berlins local television station RBB.

On May 10, 2012 the German actor Günther Kaufmann died from a heart attack at 64. A waiter and an emergency doctor tried to resuscitate him, but to no avail. Kaufmann became famous by acting for the renowned German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who defined German cinema anew in the late sixties. Later he went to jail for his seriously ill wife who had come under suspicion to have killed the couples tax consultant. After she died of cancer the real circumstances were revealed and Kaufmann got free. He resumed his acting career and became famous again by taking on the role of Der schreckliche Sven (The Horrible Sven) in the two children's movies made after the “Vicky the Viking”-book- and television-serieses.

Berlins local broadcaster RBB took this occasion to ask Dr. Thomas Schulz, Senoir Physician at Martin Luther Hospital, what is to do in the case of a heart-attack from which in Germany alone around 250.000 people suffer each year. You find the report here. Since it is in German I will give you a brief abstract in English:

In case of a heart attack the first minutes, even seconds are the most important. It is crucial that people help the victim by massaging his or her heart to get it going again continuously until professional help arrives. A heart massage (the technical name is: cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)) means to press with your hands and the help of the weight of your whole body on the part of the chest were the heart is. The chest must be pushed in by approximately five centimeters with a frequency of at least 100 pushes per minute. If there is a second person to help one can take turns and one can do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This must be done in turns with the heart massage. Two times of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation must be followed by a cycle of 30 massage pushes. In the report the procedure is visually demonstrated starting at minute 2:23.