Do you know what a “capnograph” is??? Can you recognize “agonal breathing”???

If you read my blog at all, you probably know that I am interested in quality living and that I have worked in the healthcare field.

That being said…over the years, I have seen many changes in the are of “CPR” or “Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation”.

This latest finding about how long you can live without a pulse is extraordinary information.

Everyone can learn enough about “CPR” to save a life if they had to do so…there is even CPR “app” for your I-phone that you can download for that matter.

Please consider learning CPR because the life you save may be that of a loved one.

Also, one other very important fact… learn how to recognize when a person is having a cardiac arrest….they sometimes sound  like they are struggling to breath but in fact it is the last ditch effort of the person to survive before dying…it is known as agonal breathing.

“Agonal Breathing:

Agonal breathing is present in up to 40% of pre-hospital cardiac arrests. It is important that first aiders can recognise agonal breathing .
Agonal breathing can sound like gasping, snorting, gurgling, moaning or laboured breathing. It is NOT ‘normal’ breathing.

If in doubt, do CPR. It is better to do CPR when not needed than not to do CPR when needed!

Make sure you know the difference between Normal and Agonal breathing.

There are two videos that can be watched:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBMxH4xtE8w (Acting)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICODRFoWZkw (Real incident)

http://akesisfirstaid.com/2010/03/25/agonal-breathing/

A little-known device is shaking conventional wisdom for reviving people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest: People may be able to go much longer without a pulse than the 20 minutes previously believed.

The capnograph, which measures carbon dioxide being expelled from the mouth of the patient, can tell rescuers when further efforts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, are futile or whether they should be continued. It is the latest effort that cardiology experts and emergency teams are devising that aim to improve a patient’s odds.

via New Strategies to Revive Victims of Cardiac Arrest – WSJ.com.”

My own brother died from a sudden cardiac arrest and if “agonal breathing” had been recognized and he had received “CPR” effectively he might have survived. This blog post is in his memory ….

About lorettelavine

Wife, mother, grandmother, registered nurse, licensed clinical social worker, blogger. Parent and child advocate, involved in life.
This entry was posted in CPR and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do you know what a “capnograph” is??? Can you recognize “agonal breathing”???

  1. ppahs says:

    The WSJ story you cite regarding Howard Snitzer is a great example of the benefits of continuous monitoring. The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) is an advocacy group of patients, physicians, and advocates (including Mr Snitzer) to advocate for monitoring to enhance patient safety and quality healthcare. More information can be found at http://ppahs.wordpress.com/

    I would welcome your input and participation in PPAHS!

    Best regards,
    Michael Wong
    mike.ppahs@gmail.com

    • Advocacy is one of the keys to making changes…thank-you for your comment and for making me aware of PPAHS. I am a nurse and a social worker and have worked in healthcare for over 35 years.
      I consider myself a patient advocate but I am also very supportive of physicians. Healthcare is a very complicated arena…I do not engage in bashing…I engage in an honest effort to make people aware of what is available to them within the current system and I assist them in advocating for themselves.
      When there are “bad” outcomes I try to learn from those outcomes and assist in managing future risks to patients and healthcare providers.
      I will look at PPAHS and its mission and would offer my input if you feel it would be helpful in enhancing quality healthcare.
      Best regards,
      Lorette Lavine

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