Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CRP as it is most commonly known to people is most important in saving the life of any person who has become unconscious and is found to be pulseless, heart have stopped beating or when the person is not breathing normally (may be gasping for breath) or is not breathing at all.
CPR works to move blood to the person’s brain to help prevent brain damage. CPR can help keep someone alive until a health professional arrives.
Doing CPR the wrong way or on a person whose heart is still beating can cause serious harm. Do not do CPR unless:
- An adult is not breathing normally (may be gasping for breath), or a child is not breathing at all.
- The person does not breathe or move in response to being touched or talked to (Step 1, below).
- No one with more training in CPR than you is present. If you are the only one there, do the best you can.
Anybody can and anybody should learn how to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation): According to the American Heart Association, a stunning 70% of Americans don’t know how what to do if somebody is experiencing a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they forgot the exact technique. This is especially alarming since almost 90% of cardiac arrests occur at home — where patients depend on the immediate respiratory care response of their family members. In brief, knowing how to perform CPR can save the life of a loved one someday.
While 400,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year in the U.S. alone, hands-on CPR can actually double or triple an adult’s chance of survival. However, you need to act quickly. At four minutes without oxygen, the patient will suffer from permanent brain damage. At eight to ten minutes, the patient can die. Almost 90% of cardiac arrest patients die because no one performed CPR at the scene.
Before You Start CPR
First of all, check if the patient can respond by tapping them on the shoulder and shouting “Are you okay?” If they don’t respond, call for medical emergency services immediately. If others are around, instruct them to call 911 and if you’re alone, do it yourself. If the patient is an animal, call the closest animal hospital. If you happen to be near an AED (defibrillator), read the instructions and give one shock to the patient (this applies to humans only).
CPR Steps For Adults and Children 9 and Older: Hands-Only CPR
- Lay the patient on their back and kneel next to their neck and shoulders.
- Place the heel of one hand on the center of the patient’s chest.
- Place the heel of your other hand over the first and lace fingers together.
- Keep your elbows straight and align your shoulders directly over your hands.
- Begin compression:
- As hard as possible
- At least 100x/minute
- Allow the chest to rise fully between compressions.
TIP: Give compressions to the beat of disco hit “Stayin’ Alive”!
CPR Steps For Younger Children and Infants
- Tilt the head back a bit and lift chin to open the airway and check for breathing.
- If there’s no breathing, give either of these two rescue breaths:
- Child: Pinch the nose shut and make a complete seal over their mouth
- Infant: Make a complete seal over their mouth and nose.
- Blow in for one second, so the chest visibly rises and repeat this once.
- Give 30 chest compressions (100x/minute):
- Child: Push with one or two hands about two inches deep
- Infant: Push with two to three fingers about 1.5 inches deep.
- Repeat these steps three to four times.
Pet CPR – For Dogs and Cats
For Animals Under 10kg/22lbs:
- Use the one-handed technique, wrapping the hand over sternum and chest.
- Give 30 chest compressions (100-120x/minute).
- Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions.
- Give two mouth-to-snout rescue breaths after each set of compressions (30:2).
For Medium to Giant Dogs:
- Position the animal on its side.
- Use the two-handed technique, placing your hands over the widest part of the chest.
For Deep, Narrow-Chested Dogs Like Greyhounds:
- Use the two-handed technique, placing your hands directly over the heart.
For Barrel-Chested Dogs Like English Bulldogs:
Place animal on its back and use the same positioning and technique as for adult humans Whether you perform CPR on an adult, child, infant, or pets, DO NOT STOP unless:
- The patient starts breathing
- An EMS or another citizen responder takes over
- An AED ( read article on CPR with a defibrillator below) is ready to use
- The scene becomes unsafe
- You are physically incapable of continuing
CPR WITH A DEFIBRILLATOR
People tends to forget how to perform CPR if they do not practice it regularly, or worst, they forgot what to do when they are required to perform it in a real life situation when they began to panic.
This is where Frank Pantridge’s invention of the portable defibrillator in the md 1960s come in handy. Today the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) have evolved into a intelligent device that can device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layperson, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, certified first responder, and basic life support (BLS) level cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes.
To understand how AEDs work, it helps to understand how the heart works.
The heart has an internal electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. With each heartbeat, an electrical signal spreads from the top of the heart to the bottom. As the signal travels, it causes the heart to contract and pump blood. The process repeats with each new heartbeat.
Problems with the electrical system can cause abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs). During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause the heart to stop pumping blood to the body. These arrhythmias cause SCA.
The most common cause of SCA is an arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation (v-fib). In v-fib, the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers) don’t beat normally. Instead, they quiver very rapidly and irregularly.
Another arrhythmia that can lead to SCA is ventricular tachycardia (TAK-ih-KAR-de-ah). This is a fast, regular beating of the ventricles that may last for only a few seconds or for much longer.
In people who have either of these arrhythmias, an electric shock from an AED can restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on someone having SCA also can improve his or her chance of survival.
AEDs are lightweight, battery-operated, portable devices that are easy to use. Each unit comes with instructions, and the device will even give you voice prompts to let you know if and when you should send a shock to the heart.
Learning how to use an AED and taking a CPR course are helpful. However, if trained personnel aren’t available, untrained people also can use an AED to help save someone’s life.
Keeping an AED in the office, your house, car or even taking it along on a trip might just save a person’s life, who knows, it might even be your life.
Below is a video on the use of an AED on a real life situation courtesy of Bondi Beach Rescue.
References:- http://carrington.edu/blog/medical/how-to-perform-cpr/ http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/dealing-with-emergencies-rescue-breathing-and-cpr http://www.thekahancenter.com/Library/Item.aspx?HWID=emerg&sec=hw154557 https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/aed