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Lifesaving techniques
Heart felt response
The Gran Canaria University hospital in Las Palmas recently inaugurated a pioneering programme for reducing the number of deaths caused by cardiac problems.

13.09.2013 - Sudden cardiac death refers to incidences where otherwise healthy people die unexpectedly due to a variety of causes, often heart arrhythmia such as ventricular fibrillation, though other victims may have a medical history leading up to the heart attack.

Many patients suffering a cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation who receive assistance within four minutes are saved by a simple practice that most people are capable of carrying out once they have been taught the technique.  

Closed (external) cardiac massage is a resuscitative procedure that employs the rhythmic compression of the chest and heart to a compression depth of least 5cm, at a rate of a minimum of 100 per minute, in an effort to create artificial circulation by manually pumping blood through the heart.  It is also known as hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and is performed to manually preserve brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation in people who are unresponsive with no breathing or abnormal breathing.  It can not only lessen the numbers of deaths but is also said to reduce damage to the heart. 

Thus one aim of the programme, being jointly run by cardiology professionals, the hospital’s emergency wards and the Canarian Emergencies Service (SUC), is to broaden knowledge of heart massage techniques.  Relations of those suffering cardiac disease and other related conditions are often taught these techniques so they may have the chance of saving their loved ones, however the hospital aims to offer the short courses to a wider public, the first to do so in Spain. 

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