Get Gephardt
KUTV.com | Stories - Good Question: We Exhale Carbon Dioxide, So Why Does CPR Work?
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Good Question: We Exhale Carbon Dioxide, So Why Does CPR Work?
By Matt Gephardt
(KUTV) Good Question from Lynn King: “I have a silly question. We all know the air we breathe OUT of our bodies is poison, right? Well how is it that when we do mouth to mouth with someone, it does not hurt them?”

At the Sandy City Fire Department headquarters, the classroom was full Wednesday with people eager to learn the life saving techniques of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

With chest compressions, CPR will pump blood when someone's heart has stopped and air blown into the lungs can provide oxygen.

It is training that Sandy City Firefighter/Paramedic Ryan Schroeder says he was glad he had when on vacation last spring.

“I found a 43 year old male, unconscious, not breathing and not alert,” Schroeder said.

The man is Paul Rushing. He had suffered a heart attack. Schroeder and another man jumped into action, and began CPR. It was action that saved a Paul's life.

As a trained paramedic, Schroeder's experience was certainly familiar, but he admits, different.

"Not wearing a shirt, that's different,” Schroeder said. “Being in shorts poolside, that's definitely different."

If responding to a 9-1-1 call, Schroeder would have been better clothed, sure, but he also would have had paramedic tools like a bag/valve mask than can pump 100% oxygen right into a victims lungs.

That’s certainly more efficient than mouth to mouth because our bodies inhale air, rich with oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

So why then in CPR is exhaling carbon dioxide into someone's lungs helpful?

Sandy City Battalion Chief Derrick Maxfield says it is important to note that very little of the air we breathe is actually oxygen. Air is composed of about 21% oxygen. And likewise, when we exhale, we don’t breathe out 100% carbon dioxide.

"Exhaled air is about 16% oxygen,” Maxfield said. “Even though it's not a real high concentration, we still have oxygen in the air that we exhale."

For someone who is not breathing, 16% oxygen is better than nothing.

To someone not officially trained in CPR, the amount of oxygen exhaled is becoming moot. The American Heart Association changed the CPR guidelines two years ago and now they say to a layman, don't do mouth to mouth. The AHA says there is enough oxygen in our blood cells to keep our bodies alive even without the breaths. In a study, the AHA found that often people would waste valuable time trying to clear an airway when they should be doing chest compressions.

(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
Good Question: We Exhale Carbon Dioxide, So Why Does CPR Work?

News Photos & Videos - Submit Your Photos Here


More Gephardt Stories

Good Question: How did running with bulls tradition begin?
FedEx fined for drug deliveries, back to school prices rise and Utah unemployment drops further
Yellow Page scammers targeted by FTC
Airline fees, Google looks at security flaws and Microsoft announces layoffs
Comcast in damage control, automaker recalls continue and Hersheys instates a price hike
Illegible finger prints stall adoption
Citigroup pays for mortgage crisis, president pushes infrastructure projects and a new Airbus
Good Question: Why does a soccer ball bend?
Disabled woman loses benefits because of prepaid funeral plans
FTC Complaint: Amazon got rich off unauthorized in-app purchases
Woman's vehicle seized by police after bogus police report
McNeil trial witness now allegedly a deceitful contractor
RSL fans towed despite paying to park
Costly colonoscopy following a man's belly ache
Good news for job hunters and celebration cost on the rise
Arizona baseball games blacked out in Utah
Gas prices hit six year high, no guns allowed in Target and Google buys Songza
FTC seeks hundreds of millions from T-Mobile for cramming
FTC: T-Mobile made millions with bogus charges
Women's football league leaves supporters hungry, for cookies
Good Question: "Can you be arrested for not paying a debt?"
Cable company stands up customer thrice
L'Oreal's deceptive advertising, GM recalls additional vehicles and new airline threats
Kleargear ordered to pay $300k to Utah couple
Supreme Court rules against internet television streaming company
What to do when winning doesn't pay
Isolation at work, home prices jump and AT&T/DirecTV merger
Bundling delay costs consumer
Airbag recalls, Americans struggle to save and pushing for paid maternity leave
Good Question: "Why do grads wear square-caps and gowns?"
Smartphone kill switch lowers theft, Google encourages girls to code and Harley Davidson goes electric
Auto-warranty company slow to give refunds in Utah, nationwide
GM recall lawsuit, fed talks interest rates and Amazon reveilles new phone
Luggage lost for more than a year
Home construction slows, Dr. Oz testifies and tech companies target home security
Good Question "What if you leave your mail in the box?"
More GM recalls, PF Chang credit issues and Priceline merges with OpenTable
Soccer hooliganing: Scams target fans
Possible gas price spike, beer makers slow the flow and Hobby Lobby's deceptive advertising practices
Glitch shows Medicaid recipient underpaid
Frequent flier changes, Amazon's aggressive negotiations and Subway strikes deal with Keurig
Lender error leaves man with huge student loans
Utah's small business grade, smart phone wallets and Microsoft boasts games at E3
Fine Print Allows Movers Unlimited Time to Deliver
Milk Prices Rise, Amazon's New Payment Method and Job Growth Numbers
Good Question: Is Throwing Out the First Pitch Hard?
GM Recall, Beastie Boy Lawsuit and Americans Finical Happiness
Jewelry Store Balks on Honoring Promised Warranty
UPS Shipment Destroys Valuable Packed by the UPS Store, Denies Insurance Claim
Airline Profits, New Sam's Club Cards and GM Recall Announcement Coming
Man Out $15,000 after Bank Loses Deposit
Utah Security Company Accused of Deceiving Consumers to Make Sales
Good Question: Is the No Texting and Driving Law Working?
Understanding Yummy, Library of Congress and Reading Like Your Rich
$25,000 Reward Offered for Evidence of Door-to-Door Sales Fraud
Credit Union Preempts Data Breach Issues, Tax Scams Continue and Apple to Buy Beats
Mortgage Company Declares Woman Bankrupt
Postal Service Increases, Apple's Home Platform and Housing Markets Slow Recovery
Good Question: Can Taking Marijuana Legally Out-of-State Get You Busted in Utah?
Do Not Call Rule Breakers, Sprint Fined, Amazon Goes Robotic and Delta's Profits Grow
Advertise with us!

 

Pay It Forward
Fresh Living
Family Matters
Road Trippin
Hooked On Utah

Advertise with us!