Administering CPR Can Save Lives
First aid practices should be taught to individuals. It may not be on top of training courses that most people take up, but it cannot be denied that knowing how to administer one makes a big difference. One of the many causes of death during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is the failure to administer CPR right away.
The American Heart Association through various scientific works have made significant contributions to further improve CPR. In the 2010 version of AHA’s guidelines for CPR, there have been several changes to further encourage bystanders to perform CPR.
For almost 50 years, the ABC approach has been widely upheld. ABC stands for Airway-Breathing-Compression, this focuses on the importance of providing respiration to the cardiac arrest victim. However, studies have shown that giving out two full breaths to the affected patient delays the blood flow for almost 20 seconds, significantly reducing the victim’s survival rate. With the newest guidelines, the ABC approach has been revised to CAB approach. This stands for Compression-Airway-Breathing, that focuses on supplying the vital organs with the much-needed oxygenated blood. Through this, the AHA aims to encourage more bystanders, even those who do not have training on CPR to administer the first aid compressions when needed.
True enough, hands-only CPR do not need a significant amount of expertise to do. It follows the same procedure that begins with recognition or assessment. In this stage, the rescuer must check for signs to see if a patient is in need of CPR. In the latest guidelines, the rescuer must not take too much time with checking if the patient has no pulse or is not breathing. Instead, briefly check for his or her breathing and then proceed with CPR right away. In fact, checking for pulse should not last longer than 10 seconds, as the delay of blood flow plays a crucial role on the chances of survival of the victim. If you see that the victim is gasping or is having a hard time breathing, consider the patient a cardiac arrest victim.
It is vital that personnel as well as training programs have a choreographed and systemized way of administering CPR. With the CAB approach in mind, the rescuer must compress with a depth of at least 2 inches or 5 cm. It is important to remember that the rescuer must let the chest completely recoil before starting on another cycle of compression. After 30 sets of compression, proceed with giving two full breaths on the victim, then return to giving compressions. The rescuer must be able to give at least 100 compressions within a minute. Due to the strength that giving CPR requires, the task can be exhausting and this is why having two rescuers replace each other from time to time is highly encouraged. This is to ensure that the cardiac arrest victim receives high quality compressions while minimizing the amount of delays that can only hinder the success rate of CPR itself.
Until professional help arrives, CPR must be continued to ensure that the vital organs of the victim are sufficiently supplied with the much needed blood. CPR saves lives indeed, and giving out CPR even with just compression is better than not giving compression at all.