A disaster such as cardiac arrest can strike at any time and without warning necessitating cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. This is why you should be well versed in conducting this emergency procedure but if you are not, get CPR courses online as it can save a life.
What Is CPR?
This is an emergency manual procedure performed to ensure that brain functions are preserved till trained medical personnel reach the patient, especially after cardiac arrest. It involves chest compressions coupled with artificially breathing into the patient’s mouth. As easy as it sounds, it is vital to get CPR courses online in order to do it right should the need arise.
What to Do Before Doing CPR
It is paramount that you are 100% sure that the patient needs CPR before taking any steps. The following course of action will guide you.
Remember in case the patient doesn’t require CPR and you proceed to administer it, no harm will come to him. But if you delay in giving CPR, you might lose the patient. In short, better safe than sorry.
- Shout at the Patient While Shaking Him
Hold the patient by the shoulders and proceed to shake him rapidly. While you are doing that, shout for the patient to wake up. It helps even better if you know the name of the patient. Word of caution though, don’t spend a lot of time on this. If the patient doesn’t wake up after around 5 to 10 seconds, it is advisable to go to the next step.
- Contact 911
In case the patient doesn’t wake up, call 911 promptly. This is a critical situation thus you should ensure that help gets there as fast as possible.
- Check for Signs of Breathing
The most recommended way to check for breathing is to tilt the person’s head back and scan for signs of breathing. Note if the patient will take a breath in the next 10 seconds, and if breathing is absent, commence CPR.
- Start CPR
The first step is to push on the chest. Now, picture an imaginary line between the nipples. Next, place your hands upon the middle of the chest exactly beneath that line. Proceed to push hard and rapidly, about two times per second.
Rescue breaths come next. In case you are accomplished in conducting CPR and you have the training, push upon the chest around 30 times and afterward give the patient a couple of rescue breaths.
This cycle of compressing the chest 30 times plus two breaths should be repeated until assistance arrives or the patient awakes.
There are some instances when you are not comfortable delivering the rescue breaths or you have not attended CPR training. If this is the case, it is important to keep on administering the chest pushes till paramedics get to you or the patients wakes up.
What Does Each of The Above Steps Accomplish?
- Shouting and Shaking
A quick shaking and calling out the patient’s name (you can just shout if you don’t know the name) intends to elicit some form of response from the patient. In some cases, after this is done, the person might wake up but may not be able to talk or can be confused.
It is vital to note that some medical experts don’t advocate much for shouting at the patient while shaking him because it might aggravate neck injuries if there is any. However, the chances of neck injuries are very slim and if any, it’s hard for this maneuver to worsen the situation.
- Calling Emergency Services (911)
It goes without saying that with an unconscious patient on your hands, having emergency ambulance services rushing towards you is great news.
Usually, there is always a dispatcher on phone talking to you, giving you instructions and advising you. In case this is not possible, the steps given above will come in handy.
Remember, in most cases, the patient will still need professional medical check even after CPR has been done.
- Compressions on The Chest
Sometimes the brain may be deprived of oxygen. By compressing the chest, this gets the blood to move through the brain, until the heart is restarted.
The most crucial thing is to ensure that the blood keeps on flowing unimpeded. Delays in the chest compressions or prolonged pauses will affect efficient blood flow.
- Rescue Breathing
Though this step has raised controversy, it is still important and shouldn’t be downplayed. The raging debate has concerns how much rescue breathing is needed.
Others wonder if it is even necessary! But the fact remains that should you decide to administer rescue breaths, ensure that you know how to do it properly.
Remember, if you want to learn how to perform CPR efficiently and confidently, there’s usually no substitute for professional CPR training.
Besides, it pays to know that there are lots of different classes of CPR out there and some CPR training classes differ from others. While some CPR classes cater exclusively for healthcare professionals, others are more geared towards the layperson.
So before you enlist in a CPR class, make sure that you fit right in.
Never underrate the power of well-administered CPR. It has saved many lives and you never know, one day you might have to put your CPR training and skills to good use.