An emergency situation can occur anytime, anywhere. People trained in CPR courses have helped increase chances for survival to respond quickly. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure performed on persons who is not breathing and/ or no cardiac activity. If no oxygen is delivered to the brain, permanent brain damage may occur, or worse, death. Performing CPR may just help save a life.
Before beginning CPR, it is important to check for consciousness and breathing. Ensure that the person is out of danger. Gently tap the person and ask if they are okay. Quickly check if there are injuries or other medical emergencies. Check and monitor breathing. Place the cheek on the person’s mouth and feel for breathing and observe for rise and fall movements in the chest.
People trained in CPR include rescue breaths as it requires skill. To perform CPR with rescue breaths, position the first hand on the breastbone at the center of the person’s chest and the second hand is placed on top of the first hand with fingers interlocked. Give two rescue breaths after every 30 chest compressions. To give a rescue breath, slightly tilt the person’s head and using two fingers, lift the chin up. Pinch the nose of the person. After taking a deep breath, cover the person’s mouth using own mouth and firmly but steadily blow into their mouth for over one second. Watch for rise in the chest and wait for it to fall before giving another rescue breath. Repeat the process with 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until there is a response.
Chest compressions allow the blood and oxygen to keep circulating while waiting for the paramedics. Meanwhile, rescue breathing is performed to give oxygen to the lungs.
One of the reasons people do not perform is CPR is they are hesitant to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to strangers. On a positive note, hands-only CPR may be commenced. To perform chest compression, position the heel of the hand on the middle of the person’s chest. Put the second hand on top of the first hand and intertwine the fingers. Apply pressure using body weight by five to six centimeters on their chest. Attempt to go for a rate of 100 chest compressions per minute. Continue the process until emergency help arrives.
According to a study performed by Valenzuela et al (1997), for every minute untreated after onset of cardiac arrest, the probability of survival decreases by 7 – 15%. The window of opportunity is four to six minutes. Moreover, CPR is observed to increase chances of survival two or three times. Furthermore, Gallagher et al noted that high quality CPR also increased chances of resuscitation by 4-fold.
If an emergency arises and CPR is required but is not trained for the
situation, emergency numbers may be called and instructions will be given. However, as statistics show, early CPR matters. Early CPR saves lives. Every minute counts. Conversely, CPR skills are often decaying over the years especially if unpracticed. To maintain the skills, first aid training and CPR classes should be repeated once every two years for re-certification.