Put your lips together and blow

The medical profession, helped by decades of TV programming, has taught us that when someone is unconscious you administer CPR. Chest compressions - One-one thousand,...

The medical profession, helped by decades of TV programming, has taught us that when someone is unconscious you administer CPR. Chest compressions - One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand - then mouth-to-mouth. Repeat until the victim takes the first coughs of regained consciousness. Who needs a class when there’s ER?

But this widely accepted life-saving technique is now being questioned by doctors and researchers. The BBC reports on a Japanese study that says mouth-to-mouth is unnecessary, and many people are afraid of catching something from the mouth-to-mouth recipient, which may have reduced the likelihood that someone will help a fallen bystander. The story says less than one-third of people who collapse in public receive aid.

However, can medical professionals, through any study or educational campaign, de-program people who have been taught mouth-to-mouth as part of their CPR training? Can people who haven’t been professionally trained come to terms with a CPR procedure sans the “kiss of life” after watching decades of nearly-dead TV characters live for another season with its use? It’s become a remedy that people rely on irrespective of its effectiveness, like chicken soup.

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