Somebody just got ran over by a motorcycle, the victim lies on the street. What would you do? It is a common knowledge that victims of this kind of accidents are best left untouched until the paramedics arrive. Touching or moving the victim without the proper knowledge of basic life support may add injury or worsen his condition. That is why one of the top reasons of being knowledgeable in applying basic methods in life saving is to know the perfect or basic procedure in saving someone’s life until paramedics or medical personnel arrives. Among the basic lifesaving methods, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or commonly known as CPR is one of the most important procedure that a person should know. However, there are specific times where the application of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is needed. When the victim is not breathing and has no pulse then Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is needed. Remember, if the brain cannot have oxygen in less than four minutes, brain damage may occur. Other than checking if the victim is breathing, you must also inspect for any possible blockage on the throat or airway passage. Be sure that the tongue or any other object is not blocking the passage of the air. The position of the head can be a factor for clear air passage. However, be sure that braces or support is given to the neck when trying to move the victim’s head.
Aside from that, people who are experiencing cardiac arrest may also need Cardiopulmonary resuscitation applied to them. Therefore, before giving initial help to a victim, it is best to check if the victim is breathing and if he has a pulse. Never, apply CPR immediately when you are not yet sure of the victim’s condition.
Furthermore, the placement of your palms is very important. Putting your palms or hands in the wrong place or manner may result to another injury to the victim. This may cause chest fractures or pains around the chest area, worst case scenario; it may cause death to the victim. This validates the need to undergo trainings in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. There are plenty of websites that you can find online that teaches the right or correct method in giving Cardiopulmonary resuscitation to a person. Just a click on your computer and you can browse at plenty of online courses that would help you learn the basic and correct method in giving first aid or CPR.
However, if learning online does not appeal to you, you can always ask hospitals and other medical related facilities if they conduct CPR training. Usually people on the medical field are highly knowledgeable and are certified to conduct training and seminars regarding first aid or basic lifesaving treatments. These websites are highly knowledgeable and have consulted medical technicians and professionals on the correct procedure in giving somebody Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Some of this websites may be interactive, while some may be instructional. Interactive, means there would be a conversation between you and the assigned facilitator. While instructional is just learned through reading and illustrations.
As early as the world of civilization arises, cardiac arrest or heart attack became one of the leading causes of death. Cardiac problems become the primary cause of suffering which has become life threatening as a person reaches a ripe age if they did not succumb to infectious disease at an early age. With the world advancing on its medical research, people eventually live longer yet heart problem still linger as a life threatening matter.
With this in mind, medical science research team focused on improving their method of managing heart problems in order to save, revive and improve the circulation of heart muscles when in cardiac arrest. The first breakthrough was in 1947 when Claude Beck, a pioneer in heart surgery was able to use a defibrillator to a post-operative patient. Since then, the tool went into constant innovation that defibrillation can now be performed without the presence of physicians as long as the emergency medical technicians have undergone proper training and AED Management program. Automated external defibrillators are normally handled by trained personnel today. Through defibrillation where electrical therapy is introduced to a person who went into cardiac arrest, the heart is restored to its regular rhythm thus ending arrhythmia.
AED management is not a hard task as long as the workplace in relation to the emergency unit design and a regular graphic checkup of the device is reliable and satisfactory. Managing an AED defibrillation program is important to obtain its perfect performance and success. The program can be a simple one but should be wide in range complete with the necessary mechanism of how an AED program should be.
An ideal program for this should have a web-based system that guarantees and conforms to the method applied on the AED program. Internet connection should be used as an ideal access. However, the program should have an allowance to alter and change the existing platform for possible upgrading of the device.
A compliance report is essential to support and check the record maintenance of the AED program and the personnel itself. This will also give an easy access on checking regularly the AED units. All the necessary replaceable and expendable items such as electrodes and batteries should be notably dated on its date of purchase to estimate its life span.
Automated external defibrillator is easy to keep and maintain. This is to insure its maximum performance. Take note that AED batteries are non-rechargeable and a dead battery is one of the most common causes of the unit’s malfunction. Normally, batteries have a two to five years life span. The electrode pads have to be checked regularly too of its expiration date. There are dates that are stamped after opening the case. There are also models that the date is visible by looking through the window of the case. To ensure the viability of the unit it is therefore ideal to check the unit every tour of duty. Most of all never lose the unit’s manual for it will provide the right reference of the unit itself.
For decades, countless people have already taken interest in CPR training yet very few people know how to actively apply their knowledge in saving lives in real life situations. Relatively few even attempt to do resuscitation before real help from paramedics arrive.
Why is it that even with the sheer number of people who have undergone CPR training only a few cases get the benefit of resuscitation attempts?
The primary reason why people don’t attempt resuscitation is not because they can’t but because their bodies are overpowered with anxiety and panic and so they forgot what they should do first when the situation calls for it. When the body is overpowered with fear and panic, the conscious mind could not catch up that it becomes next to impossible to do an accurate recall on the steps that are needed to be done.
There is also a factor where a person won’t do the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation especially when the person involved is a stranger. This is probably because of a “personal space” factor – whether it is the patient’s space or one’s own – that is up to the person who is going to do the CPR. Indeed, CPR is a classic invasion of personal space. However, there is no such thing as it is when it comes to saving lives. What an individual has to think about is how to save the man before him until the paramedics arrive.
Getting the Facts Straight
Mouth to mouth resuscitation is not compulsory anymore, according to a study that was published in a journal of medicine five years ago. This means to say that chest compressions on its own can already do wonders or perhaps even better than when it is combined with rescue breathing. In fact, chest compressions alone can already increase the chance of patient’s survival with discharge from hospital with satisfactory or good brain function.
As opposed to cases where CPR/chest compression has been done, there is increased risk for brain damage or impaired brain function in people who have not received chest compression before they are brought into the hospital.
When it comes to emergencies, even when you’re not a paramedic or a medical professional – if you’ve received CPR training then you should be able to save one life at a time when the situation calls for it. This is a skill that everyone must have or acquire nowadays because you can never tell whether someone would fall in front of you due to cardiac arrest and if you don’t know what to do – then you risk that person’s life when you could’ve saved him or her.
By receiving training, you are actually doing yourself a favor. Ask yourself what if your loved one needed a CPR and you don’t know what to do? Wouldn’t it be better if you know how to do it so that you can save your loved one and other people for that matter with the knowledge that you have been given and bestowed?
CPR, which stands for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a process that uses chest compression and artificial ventilation – by means of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in order to maintain vascular flow and oxygenation despite the presence of cardiac arrest. This process greatly enhances the neurologic outcome or good quality life prognosis of patients who just had cardiac arrest away from the vicinity of a hospital or within significant time-delay prior to the arrival of paramedics.
However, despite improving the chances of these patient’s survival, the fact that adequate medical attention needs to be given cannot be discounted. This is to ensure that the patient’s chances of getting discharged from the hospital without significant neurologic symptoms that may impair good quality life is heightened.
The Process of CPR
The process starts with chest compression delivery. If you have observed from pictures or even from medical TV shows, you will see that cardiopulmonary resuscitation will begin with overlapping hands on top of the patient’s chest over the sternum. It should be emphasized that the arms of the person doing the resuscitation must be extended to ensure that the force for chest compression is adequately delivered with the assistance of some of the rescuer’s weight.
It has been updated that cardiopulmonary resuscitation must be done on all patients whether children or adults and a guidelines or recommendations have been passed for references.
First, the rescuer must only withhold resuscitation if victims of penetrating or blunt trauma will obviously not benefit anything from it. This means that if the victim obviously not survive – given the factors such as the time delay before reaching a medical facility – the victim will not benefit anything from the cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Second, recommended resuscitation should be done in patients who have suffered from cardiac arrest especially when they have not sustained any traumatic injury at the time of incident.
Third, if the victim is a child and has shown signs of life even before the administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation must be taken immediately to the nearest emergency room. All procedures including the traumatic CPR must be done while on the way to the hospital. Any delay of bringing the child could result to the demise of the patient considering the window of survival without oxygen to the brain.
There are still other guidelines that must be followed when it comes to doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The ones mentioned above are just some of it, which you could give more thought and understanding.
What are the instances when cardiopulmonary resuscitation is contraindicated or prohibited?
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is indicated or SOP (standard operating procedure) to all victims of cardiac arrest. The only time that it is contraindicated or absolutely prohibited is when there is a DNR (do-not-resuscitate) order from the attending physician by virtue of the immediate family’s decision. It is also not done any more if the patient has advanced directive of not being resuscitated upon the occurrence of cardiac arrest. Otherwise, cardiopulmonary resuscitation is absolutely done in order to increase the chances of having good quality life after the cardiac arrest.
Based on historical records, about 600,000 Americans die each year from acute myocardial infarction. While most people think that a heart disease, and the resulting heart attack, can happen over time, that is not the case. In truth, it could take someone 10 to 15 years for a heart attack to inevitably occur. Unfortunately, although there is quite enough time for people to realize that a heart attack could occur, very few know what signs to watch out for.
Risk Factors for Heart Attack
Although heart attack can happen to anyone, one of the factors that could increase such likelihood would be be if you are 45 years and above in age. For women, the age of 55 years and older tend to pose a higher risk. Many medical professionals believe that, it is because, at this age, the body is unable to break down fats. This, in turn, would mean build up of fatty deposits along the walls of the blood vessels.
Whether it’s tobacco that gives you the thrill or just the simple cigarette, smoking can increase your likelihood of suffering from a heart attack. You have to keep in mind that, when you smoke, the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain as well as the other major organs that you have is greatly reduced. Without the right amount of oxygen, the tissues could die which could lead to organ failure.
People with diabetes have a higher chance of suffering from a heart attack compared to those who don’t. Excess sugar in the blood can damage the arteries which could lead to the latter being stiff and prone to more damage should fatty deposits start to build up.
4. Family History of Heart Disease
While heart attack is not something that you inherit from your parents, the risk and predisposition to it is actually something that gets passed down. Aside from this, it can be quite normal for parents to pass down their eating and lifestyle habits to their children. A previous heart attack could also mean that your chances of getting another heart attack is higher especially if you do not make some needed changes.
Now, knowing the risk factors for a heart attack can help you ensure that you keep your risk level to a minimum. In the event that you do experience a heart attack, you have to keep in mind that all is not lost. There are, however, certain changes that you should consider:
1. Lifestyle change
If you are leading a sedentary life, you might to be more active. This does not have to be much. A brisk walk for 30 minutes each day can already help you lower your risk for another heart attack. It could also strengthen your body.
2. Watching what you eat.
Eating right does not mean that you have to punish yourself with bland, tasteless food. It only means that you have to make sure that you take everything into moderation. Ensure also that you do not consume food with high levels of LDL. You should also keep an eye out for the kind of drinks that you have each day.
Living a life after a heart attack would also mean making sure that you have an AED unit on hand. This can prove to be quite handy should you suffer from another heart attack.
Heart attack is no longer common for old people alone. There are more and more cases of people in their late twenties or even early twenties having heart attack due to myriad of reasons such as stress, obesity and other complications. Knowing the signs of heart attack is important not only for you but also for the ones you love. Heart attack can happen any time and in an instant so you better be aware on how to know that it is already happening, because sometimes, you might think it is just some ordinary pain or discomfort of the body.
One of the most typical warning signs of heart attack is pain. The pain can be felt either on the chest, on upper body or in your stomach. You might even feel pain on all those body parts all at the same time. Chest discomfort or chest pain will feel like a tight pressure or ache. The squeezing or fullness of the chest may last for a few minutes. In some cases, the discomfort will come back a few times during the day. Upper body pain means the discomfort will spread not only to your chest but also to your shoulders, neck, arms, back teeth and jaw. Note that you can have upper body pain without feeling ache on your chest. The stomach pain will more likely feel like heartburn.
Shortness of breath is normal if you undergo heavy physical activity. However, if you suddenly feel shortness of breath without doing something that ordinarily causes it, then you might be experiencing hear attack. Shortness of breath is typically experienced before chest pain but it can also be experienced by itself. Another warning sign of heart attack is anxiety. Again, the feeling of panic attack is normal if you thought of something stressful or if you are in danger. However, if for no apparent reason you suddenly feel anxious, like you are having cold sweats, then heart attack is more or less on its way. Speaking of cold sweats, having cold sweats alone is already a tell tale sign that you are having a heart attack. Lightheadedness, nausea and vomiting are some more warning signs of the deadly heart attack. Lightheadedness means you feel like passing out and nausea is something you experience that makes you sick to your stomach to the point of vomiting.
The symptoms stated here may vary in level of discomfort or pain. Just a word of advice, even if you feel only a little discomfort such as those stated here but with no real reason at all, take it as a warning and call your doctor as soon as possible. Do not wait until the pain escalates. It is also advisable to make sure that you have an AED unit on hand. That way, no matter what happens, the people around you would be able to provide assistance should you suffer from a heart attack. It is also a good idea to undergo a CPR training in any institution in your area.
You are having a wonderful dinner date with your husband. The waiter arrives with the vintage wine and pours it in your glass. Just as you are about to make a toast, your partner suddenly feels severe chest pain signaling the start of a heart attack. What do you do?
Another scenario, you are home alone with your mom. The two of you are watching TV, laughing at the joke of the actors in your favorite sitcom. You mom is about to stand to get more chips but she stopped on her tracks and complained of shortness of breath and nausea. You think it is heart attack so you let her sit down again. What do you do next?
Knowing what to do during a heart attack is important to save lives, especially those close to you. The very first thing to do is to call 911, your doctor or the police to get some help. Even if the person having a heart attack decides to tough it out, it is your responsibility to inform the authorities. Something bad might happen even if the pain or discomfort being felt is only a mild one. If you do not know what number to call, contact a friend or the neighbor immediately. If you are the one having a heart attack and you decide to rush to the hospital then have someone else drive the car. Do not attempt to drive yourself for it can lead to an accident.
Determine if the person having the heart attack is allergic to aspirin. If you are sure that there is no allergy, then have him or her chew and swallow an aspirin. It will alleviate the discomfort or severe pain being experienced by the person. For those people who have been prescribed with nitroglycerin before, you may take this as well. If your doctor has not yet prescribed you with this, do not take it. You might be allergic to it or your body might react in some other way that will just worsen the situation at hand.
When the person having heart attack suddenly becomes unconscious, CPR is recommended. If you already know how to do it, you can perform it on the person but be sure to inform the 911 dispatcher or any medical specialist you successfully contacted that you are about to do it. If you have not received any training on how to perform the CPR, the 911 dispatcher may just instruct you on how to do the chest compressions and skip the mouth to mouth rescue breathing.
Through all of these, it is vital that you remain calm. Having a panic attack will not help at all in this situation. Keep all of these in mind and you might just save a life. To make sure that your knowledge about CPR does not become rusty, you should practice undergoing CPR training at least once a year. It is also a good idea to ensure that you read up on the latest findings by the AHA on how to carry out chest compressions.
The heart, considered as the strongest muscle in the body. It is one of the few organs that has an electrical system responsible for controlling the heartbeat as well as normalizing the heart rate or the number of times that the heart beats per minute, and the heart rhythm or the synchronized pumping action of the heart. Because of the role it plays, it is of prime importance that the beating pattern of the heart is kept regular. Once the heart encounters a problem with this electrical system, the heart will experience irregular heartbeats that often results in a sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart suddenly stops beating.
People who suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest can die within minutes from the skip in the heart beat pattern. Because of this, it cannot be denied that most people are unable to provide the right kind of assistance to the patient. This makes it important for everyone to know speedy treatment like the cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR and the use of defibrillator. Defibrillator is a machine that can send electric shocks to the heart to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. In public places like schools, malls and hotels, an automated external defibrillator (AED) can be found and used in times of emergency.
Aside from this, of course, it is more important for people to know the risk factors that could increase the likelihood of an occurrence of a sudden cardiac arrest. These risks include having high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, having diabetes, too much consumption of alcohol, obesity, and drug abuse. Also, people who have a family history of cardio artery disease or heart attack are at risk.
In order to significantly reduce these risks, it is vital to have a healthy and active lifestyle. A healthy diet consists of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains products, foods that are low in sugar, trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Lean meats, fish, beans and low-fat milk are perfect for these criteria. A healthy activity on the other hand includes aerobic physical work out like walking, jogging, running and cycling. Living a sedentary life should be something that you should shy away from. This means, lessen the amount of time you usually spend in front of the TV or the computer.
Getting regular medical check-ups can also decrease the risk of having a sudden cardiac arrest. Doctors can give patients customized activities and diet to maintain the ideal weight and live a full but healthy life.
If you are at risk for a heart disease, you need to make sure that the people around you would know what to do. Having an AED unit on hand can be of great help to them especially if they have not had any formal training in proper administration of CPR. An AED can provide them with needed instructions when it comes to determining whether chest compression would suffice, or if there is a need for an application of electrical charge. In most cases, an AED would come with both oral and visual instructions on what needs to be done.
The American Heart Association, also known as the AHA, states that, about every 34 seconds, a person suffers from a heart attack, and that is in the United States alone. A heart attack happens when arteries that supply the heart with blood becomes narrow due to a buildup of cholesterol, fat or some other substances. This blood clot prevents the oxygen from flowing, thus creating tissue damage as well as tissue death to the heart muscle. While most people equate heart attack with old age, the truth is, heart attack chooses no age and can be quite fatal. However, many people have come to survive it. One of the factors that increased the likelihood of these people surviving a heart attack is their knowledge of what signs to watch out for.
The most common symptoms of heart attack are chest pain and profuse sweating. Keep in mind though that the warning signs could vary from person to person and not everyone will get to experience chess pain. This makes it important to learn the other signs. After all, the main denominator of every heart attack remains to be early treatment to have less damage.
Heart Foundation of Australia has listed more warning signs on heart attack. Aside from the very common sign of pain in the chest, a person may also feel tightness or a crushing sensation in the chest. This may leave a person feeling restless. Other symptoms include pain in the jaw, choking feeling in the neck, discomfort in the shoulders, back pains specifically the portion between the shoulder blades and the feeling of heaviness of the arms. A person may also feel nauseous and dizzy or experience shortness of breath and produce cold sweat.
To make sure that you do not have to go through these symptoms, it is important to have a change in one’s lifestyle. Eating healthy and getting active through physical activities are advisable. Reducing the intake of sugar and controlling cholesterol will prevent clogged arteries; managing blood pressure is beneficial in reducing stress in heart and arteries. If you are the kind of person who cannot resist consuming a stick of cigarette every now and than, consider either turning cold turkey or, at least, minimizing your consumption per day. Keep in mind that most heart attacks take place because the heart is unable to receive the right amount of oxygen.
Being at risk for heart attack is a major issue. That being the case, it is only right that you make sure you, as well as the people around you, have what it takes to deal with any kind of scenario. Some of the things that you should consider would include enrolling yourself or those around you in a CPR training class. Citywide CPR provides such training programs. You should also consider getting your hands on an AED unit. This nifty electronic device works great for those who do not have enough knowledge on how to perform a proper CPR. Most units come with visual as well as oral instructions on what needs to be done. It can also help in determining whether you would need chest compression first or an electric jolt.