Heart Association Issues

New CPR Guidelines

New guidelines for resuscitating people whose hearts suddenly stop emphasize more and faster chest compressions, with fewer stops to breathe oxygen-rich air into the victim's mouth.

Blood circulation for a person in cardiac arrest increases with each chest compression. Pausing for "mouth-to-mouth" resuscitation stops the blood flow through the heart to the rest of the body. The rhythm and momentum then must be built back up.

More than 300,000 Americans die each year of cardiac arrest, when the heart suddenly stops beating. The heart association estimates that more than 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before they get to the hospital.

The new guidelines were published yesterday by the American Heart Association in its journal Circulation. They should make cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, more effective and boost survival, doctors said.

Rescuers should give 30 chest compressions then two breaths to all adults, children and infants needing CPR. That is double the previously recommended 15 compressions for every two breaths in adults in the previous guidelines published in 2000.

It also simplifies the technique for children and infants, who previously received one breath for every five compressions.

Vaccinating Poultry Could

Prevent Spread of Bird Flu

Vaccinating chickens against avian flu can prevent a major outbreak of the disease by preventing birds from passing on the virus, Dutch scientists said in a study published yesterday.

Vaccination is one of the main weapons in the fight against bird flu. However, scientists did not know if vaccination protected only treated birds or had wider benefits.

"Our conclusion is that vaccination of poultry can prevent a major outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu viruses," said scientist Jeanet Van der Goot.

Van der Goot and fellow researchers said vaccination reduces the infectiousness of chickens with avian flu and also the susceptibility of healthy chickens to the virus.

The study, published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, comes as governments around the world try to contain Asia's deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Many Drug Injections Failing

To Reach Buttocks Muscle

Fatter rear ends are causing many drug injections to miss their mark, requiring longer needles to reach the buttocks muscle, researchers said yesterday.

Standard-size needles failed to reach the buttocks muscle in 23 out of 25 women after what was supposed to be an intramuscular injection of a drug.

Two-thirds of the 50 patients in the study did not receive the full dosage of the drug, which instead lodged in the fat tissue of their buttocks, researchers from the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin said in a presentation to the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Besides patients receiving less than the correct drug dosage, medications that remain lodged in fat can cause infection or irritation, researcher Victoria Chan said.

The 25 men and 25 women studied at the Irish hospital ranged in age from 21 to 87.

The buttocks are a good place for intramuscular injections because there are relatively few major blood vessels, nerves and bones that can be damaged by a needle.

-- From News Services

Researchers say shots, such as these being given in Vietnam, reduce the infectiousness of sick chickens and offer protection to healthy birds.