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New Studies on CPR, Pets, Falls and Diets

By Sheryl Kraft

Created: 11/30/2009
Last Updated: 11/30/2009

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In case you have gotten too busy with life to keep up with all the health news - it's impossible, after all, to hear and read everything - here are a few interesting, if not unrelated, tidbits I've come across recently...

Hands-Only CPR: It will be a great relief to many people to know that no longer is mouth-to-mouth necessary to accompany chest compressions. (There are so many people who are not only unsure of their skill in doing this somewhat difficult combination, but who are also intimidated and frightened by the untold germs and diseases they might pick up.) According to the if you're a bystander who witnesses the sudden collapse of an adult, after you've dialed 911, start chest compressions immediately, pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim's chest. And if you don't know how fast to compress, sing that old song by the BeeGees, Stayin' Alive. Its 103 beats per minute come very close to the recommended speed of 100 beats a minute.

Don't Trip: I can relate to this, having done it (and luckily and miraculously surviving intact) and having too many close calls to count. There's a new study out from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It says that over 86,000 people are seen each year in the emergency room with injuries suffered from tripping over the family pet. That figure really surprised me. It translates into about 240 people a day - which is about 1% of all fall-related ER visits. Although cats can get underfoot, the bulk of these mishaps are from our best friend, the dog, and usually happen when we're out walking them. (But watch out for those toys scattered around the house, too.) That's when my fall happened - I was taking care of a friend's dog, who crossed right in front of me and literally swept me off my feet. Now, whenever I go out to walk my own dog, I always grab my cellphone and take it with me, just in case I have to call for help. You just never know.

Low-Fat vs. Low-Carb Diets. With all the diets out there, you've probably tried both of these, right? that when they followed overweight and obese people on diets of low-carb and high-fat vs, high-carb and low-fat, both groups lost about equally - around 30 pounds in a year. And both groups showed about the same improvement in mood. (When I first read this I thought, sure, I'd be in a good mood, too, after losing that much weight.) But the good mood lasted only about eight weeks for those who were on the high-fat diet, returning to where it was before their diet. What is it about low-fat that retains good moods? While they're not entirely sure, scientists think it could be the difficulty at resisting foods high in carbohydrates, like the ever-present pastas and breads. Or, it could be something more complicated at work - like the effect of protein and fat on serotonin or other brain chemicals.

Want to know more about any of these topics? Suggested reading:
- Keeping your home and lifestyle safe and secure
Tips for losing - and keeping it off
Heart Disease 101

Comments

I didn't know that mouth to mouth was no longer necessary. I don't quite understand why though. I can understand the statistics about pets and falls - I'm always tripping over our dogs!

I am thankful to know that I am not the only klutz who has tripped over her dog.

Just *thinking* about a low-carb diet makes me unhappy. I'd hate to think of actually being on one.

From what I understand, marthaandme, there are a few reasons mouth-to-mouth is not necessary. One, it discourages bystanders from helping and two, the important thing is getting the blood to flow to provide nourishment to the brain and heart. This important piece can be interrupted by breathing into the mouth and stopping the chest compressions.

Hmmm. Can't wait to hear what follows as researchers try to figure out the effect of protein and fat on brain chemistry ...

Interesting that THAT MANY people end up in the ER. It means that it's a lot more dangerous to have a dog than to give birth to a baby! Thanks for these updates about health in the news. I wouldn't have read any of the articles myself so I'm glad to know the latest!

I can understand tripping over the dog--seems like whenever I'm in the kitchen my dog is close behind (and sometimes in front of) me. To think that 240 a day end up in the hospital as a result--sobering.

I know this is a serious post, but your Stayin Alive bit just cracked me up. It would be terrible to bust out laughing while trying to resuscitate someone... oh dear.

Oh no, I can't stop giggling and feeling horribly guilty for it.

I know this is a serious post, but your Stayin Alive bit just cracked me up. It would be terrible to bust out laughing while trying to resuscitate someone... oh dear.

Oh no, I can't stop giggling and feeling horribly guilty for it.

I know, Stephanie, after I wrote it I couldn't stop singing that sound over and over (and over) in my head...and resisted the urge to write something to the effect of "you shouldn't sing it out loud if you're tone deaf...it could do more harm than good." :)

Staying Alive - that's a very appropriate tune and one that most people are apt to remember!

That is an incredible statistic -- 86,000 -- of people falling/tripping over their pet. Wow.

I am a school nurse and CPR instructor. When I teach CPR classes to parents, they always want to learn mouth to mouth for their families. They are greatly relieved when I tell them that they do not have to perform mouth to mouth on strangers. I also have them practice compressions while singing "Staying Alive". They get out of breath quickly and then just sing it in their heads. Starting out singing aloud gets the song stuck in their heads and they can keep an even rhythm for a longer time. It also makes learning more fun.

Thanks for weighing in on this, Paula. I agree that it's a great relief to know we can actually not have to stand by helplessly if we come across a person needing CPR. Not having to do mouth-to-mouth makes it a whole lot less threatening. And that's definitely an easy song to get stuck in your head!

First aid protocols across the USA and Europe seems more uniform these days. It is good to help and save lives! We learn new things on a daily basis.

First aid protocols across the USA and Europe seems more uniform these days. It is good to help and save lives! We learn new things on a daily basis.

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