Cardiocerebral resuscitation or “CCR” is the most important advance in the care of patients in cardiac arrest since cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was first described. Some physicians refer to CCR as the new form of CPR, whereas others refer to it simply as the replacement for traditional CPR.
Critics of traditional CPR have stated that the emphasis on early ventilation is misguided. These airway interventions take time away from performing adequate chest compressions, and they also produce an increase in intrathoracic pressure, decreasing venous return and thus cardiac output -- not a good thing in a patient in cardiac arrest.
CCR includes continuous chest compressions with no early ventilations. A recent study that compared CCR with standard CPR in patients demonstrated that both survival and percentage of survivors with good neurological outcome were significantly improved in those who underwent CCR.
When a person is stricken with cardiac arrest, what you do in those first few minutes can mean the difference between life and death.
About 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest patients die before reaching the hospital, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), so knowing how to perform CCR can be life saving.
Without some type of CCR or defibrillation, brain death starts to occur just four to six minutes after cardiac arrest. Further, a person’s chances of survival fall 7-10 percent for every minute delay until defibrillation if no CCR is provided, according to AHA.
What makes CCR, and its predecessor CPR, so important is that it helps maintain blood flow to your heart and brain in the minutes until an electric shock from a defibrillator can get your heart pumping again. These minutes often dictate whether a person will live or die.
The Difference Between CPR and CCR
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, has been the “gold standard” in emergency heart care since the 1960s. It combines mouth-to-mouth breathing with chest compressions that, when provided immediately, have been said to double or even triple a person’s chances of survival after sudden cardiac arrest.
However, newer research suggests the mouth-to-mouth breathing component may be counterproductive because it takes critical time away from the chest compressions that are vital to keep blood circulating to the heart and brain, especially if only one person is present.
In one study published in the Lancet, those who received chest compressions only had less brain damage than those who received traditional CPR. Other studies have found survival rates following cardiac arrest went up 300 percent when only chest compressions were used.
This newer technique, known as Cardiocerebral Resuscitation, or CCR, does away with mouth-to-mouth breathing and instead focuses solely on forceful chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute.
Aside from improving patient outcomes by increasing uninterrupted blood flow to the brain and heart, more people may be willing to perform CCR, especially on strangers, since it does not involve the mouth-to-mouth component.
That said, doing even badly performed CPR is better than doing nothing in an emergency cardiac arrest situation. The people who fared worst in studies are those who did not receive any CPR or CCR … so if you’re in an emergency situation, first call for emergency help, then remember that even if you don’t perform CPR or CCR perfectly, doing some is better than nothing and will help buy time until emergency help arrives.
How to Reduce Your Chances of Needing CCR
Sudden cardiac arrest accounts for 310,000 deaths in America every year, or 850 a day -- more than those caused by breast cancer, lung cancer, stroke, and AIDS combined.
Additionally, most do not realize that the most common symptom of heart disease is indeed SUDDEN DEATH, just like what occurred in 2008 with NBC correspondent Tim Russert. There are absolutely no indications of a problem, no signs like chest pain or shortness of breath.
You simply have NO symptoms at all before getting struck by the chest pain that kills you.
This is why it’s so important to take steps to reduce your risk of heart disease NOW, before it’s too late.
Fortunately, heart disease is one of the easiest diseases to prevent, as long as you’re proactive.
One of the first steps virtually everyone should take is to make sure you’re monitoring your vitamin D level regularly and then taking the steps -- either sun exposure, safe tanning bed or vitamin D3 supplements -- to keep your level in the optimal range.
Low levels of vitamin D in your blood have long been correlated with a higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks, and a previous study found women who take vitamin D supplements lower their risk of death from heart disease by one-third.
Then, apply the Take Control of Your Health program. This will virtually eliminate your heart disease risk -- sometimes quite rapidly -- because it helps to significantly reduce inflammation in your body. And keeping your inflammation levels low is key if you want to reduce your risk of heart disease.
You can become familiar with the nutritional aspect of the program right now using my nutrition plan, but the program is much more than just nutritional. It addresses the big picture strategy you need, from exercise and stress reduction to healthy fats and avoiding toxins, to optimize your health.
Risk Factors to Watch Out For
It’s also a good idea to monitor your heart disease risk factors, with one of the most important being your cholesterol to HDL ratio.
Keep in mind that your total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease, unless it is close to 300 or higher. And, perhaps more importantly, you need to be aware that cholesterol is not the CAUSE of heart disease. If you become overly concerned with trying to lower your cholesterol level to some set number, you will be completely missing the real problem.
In fact, I have seen a number of people with levels over 250 who actually were at low heart disease risk due to their HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen even more who had cholesterol levels under 200 that were at a very high risk of heart disease based on the following additional tests:
HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol. That percentage should ideally be above 24 percent. Below 10 percent, it’s a significant indicator of risk for heart disease.
You can also do the same thing with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. That percentage should be below 2.
If you take these tests and find out you’re at an increased risk, it’s especially important to get on track to a healthier lifestyle to protect your heart health.