Restoration of Circulation: The Dramatization of CPR

April 27, 2016Comments Off on Restoration of Circulation: The Dramatization of CPR

For fans of Hollywood films, there are certain films which would show a victim of sudden cardiac arrest, and the dramatization of the CPR procedure done to them. According to studies, there is a large percentage of revival with the use of CPR in a Hollywood film. Granted that these films are merely snippets of a character’s life and does not necessarily show other instances of CPR, the dramatization still affects the audience.

Due to the dramatization and the life-like recreation of the resuscitation process, more people think that they have the skill to perform CPR on a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, merely watching the procedure in a Hollywood film may not be enough training to be able to properly administer CPR. Adding to that, there are many misconceptions that Hollywood films address regarding CPR.

Common Misconceptions

Thanks to Hollywood, people have been disillusioned regarding some of the aspects of CPR. This misinformation can be undone by attending training programs for actual CPR practice.

Success Rate

Success rate is one of the most dramatized aspect in Hollywood, with the main character usually successful in reviving a person that has required CPR. This is countered by the reality of it all, where there are varying success rates, depending on the presence of trained bystanders and professionals. Even with all the trained individuals, success rate of revival is still less than 50 percent, no matter the situation.

Return of Spontaneous Circulation

This is an addition to the success rate. More often than not, CPR is insufficient in bringing the circulation of a heart back to normal. Normally, it requires the use of an electric shock form a defibrillator or an automatic external defibrillator.

Necessity of Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation has become a trope in a film or show, where this brings the victim and the person administering CPR together, as they categorize it as a kiss. Unfortunately, this has been implanted in the mind of some audiences that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is a gentle thing. In truth, there is a certain position in which mouth-to-to mouth resuscitation is effective, and there is a required amount of force to make it effective. Additionally, mouth-to-mouth is not a necessity, especially on certain moral and ethical grounds. Hospitals and other medical institutions have presented that hands-only CPR is also a very effective procedure, without needing for mouth contact.

The Good Samaritan Act

The Good Samaritan Act protects bystanders that perform CPR and cause injury from being sued by the victim. This is because the act was done in the state of necessity and any and all forms of revival, especially from an untrained person, may have some disagreeable results. Bystanders do not have to fear as you will not be sued, so go help those in need.

Let the Trained Do It

This is the worst misconception, as this actually decreases the chances of survival. You can see in Hollywood films that people won’t do anything because they are untrained, and as an extension, afraid of getting sued and being of no help. This mentality in reality would be very detrimental to rescue efforts, as every second is critical for the success rate of revival.

Get informed about the reality of CPR by attending a CPR training course.

The Science of Automatic External Defibrillator

April 25, 2016Comments Off on The Science of Automatic External Defibrillator

Automatic External Defibrillators, shortened to AED, are some of the most useful devices for heart disease sufferers in the modern age. It is the advancement of the defibrillator mechanism, made more portable and easy to use. There are different types of AEDs based on their specifications. For business owners, it is important to find out which type of AED you should get for your establishment. The same can be said for private individuals who acknowledges the need for an AED within their house. There are certain specifications to check as well as usability to consider before purchasing an automatic external defibrillator.

Technical Specs of AEDs

Some factors to check before getting an AED include the following: energy management, design, and usability.

Energy Management

Energy management means everything that involves what powers the device. You should be aware of the charging time, the output, and the duration of a single charge for an automated external defibrillator. This is important to note, as there is a need to find out the cost of keeping a defibrillator active. For establishments, there is a necessity to have an AED available on stand-by for a long time, as compared to a house, where charging can be done easily. Additionally, for AEDs that are purchased to be used during travels, a very long stand-by time is highly recommended, unless a power source is available.

As a consumer, you should also find out the capability of output of an AED as well as the time it needs to load up the charge for output. Getting an AED with a weak output may be necessary for establishments catering to children and infants, but a stronger output is necessary for different clientele. Also, there are AEDs which allow you to change voltage, to make it easier for use.

Design and Usability

Design plays a vital role in AED use. Design can mean the visibility of the device, the convenience of use, and the portability. Visibility of the device means that it is easily located in the time when it is needed. This can be done by being brightly colored and located in a well-lit place. The convenience of use, including the portability, should also be considered. The design should be made accessible for the users even without training. Additionally, it is important that the AED be portable. Most common AEDs are very portable nowadays, so it will be easy to choose based on portability.

Usability

Usability means how trained or untrained users can operate the device with the help of the device itself. There are devices that has a prompt, which makes it easier for the people to know what to do, even if it is their first time. If you are operating an establishment where the target audience is most likely to be untrained, then get the AED with the easiest use.

It is important to find the balance between design and usability as well as the energy of the device. This way you can find the most effective AED to service your establishment or your home, making it a safe space for those who are in danger of heart diseases.

Administering CPR for Near-Drowning Victims and Cardiac Arrest

April 21, 2016Comments Off on Administering CPR for Near-Drowning Victims and Cardiac Arrest

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, most commonly called CPR, is a basic first aid that comes in handy in various situation. Although it is a basic practice, numerous efforts have been made to further develop how CPR is done due to its undeniable significance in extending a life.

The latest developments made by the American Heart Association in coming up with more effective ways in administering CPR is very helpful. Before, the ABC approach is widely upheld until recently when the AHA changed it to CAB approach. This new way will give more emphasis on the quality of sets of compression done on the victim instead on delaying it for airway. Also, this new approach will encourage more bystanders to administer CPR.

There are given situations when CPR should be given. These include cardiac arrest, near-drowning incidents, suffocation or any situation where a person is not breathing. CPR is given to ensure that the circulation of oxygenated blood that is needed by the vital organs are continued. The longer a bystander hesitates to do CPR, the higher the chances of a victim dying. This is why you everyone should be aware of CPR and when and how to administer them on certain situations.

CPR for Near-Drowning Victims

Drowning is a possibility in the water and there is no way of assuring that this will either happen or not. A victim may have been submerged in the water for too long that causes the body system to shut down due to lack of oxygen. It is important to know that water intake goes to the stomach instead of the lungs, unlike what most people commonly assume. This is due to laryngospasm, or the sealing of the larynx to prevent the water from heading to the lungs; however, some victims maintain this seal that can lead to cardiac arrest.

This causes a slight alteration on the AHA guidelines on CAB approach. Rescuers should deliver two rescue breaths first and then proceed to cycles of compression and breath. Thus, airway and breathing is given emphasis on this kind of scenario.

CPR for Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest remains as one of the deadliest killers in the world. There is no way of telling if this will occur or not. Cardiac arrest happens when the heart suddenly stops beating that can lead to cutting off of the oxygenated blood that need to be delivered to the brain. In this given scenario, one must give emphasis on the quality of compression.

The CAB approach will delay the breathing of the victim for approximately 18 seconds. This is why the quality of cycles of compression should be ensured to make up for these delay. The depth of the compression should be at least two inches and with the rate of 100 sets per minute. The ratio of 30:2 sets of compression and breathing should also be observed.

CPR is an important life support that needs to be learned by everyone. If there is a life that needs to be saved, you can do it. By being aware of the importance and basics of CPR, you can extend a life.

 

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation on Trauma Victims

April 19, 2016Comments Off on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation on Trauma Victims

One of the most common first aid that everyone should know of is cardiopulmonary resuscitation or most commonly called as CPR. When the word CPR is mentioned the first thing that comes to mind is the pumping on the chest and breathing through the mouth of a victim that is lying in a supine position. This is the ideal setup on administering CPR; however, things are not always as easy as this.

Aside from the usual cardiac arrest and near-drowning experience, trauma victims are also in need of CPR. Traumatic injuries can lead to cardiac arrest due to several reasons such as hypoxia, injury to vital organs, severe head injury, extreme blood loss, pulseless arrest etc.

There has been series of debate over administering CPR on victims of trauma and that is why it is important to know that CPR is just one of the first aids that can be done in these events until professional help arrives. The practices of primary survey and secondary survey is vital in these situations. Primary survey refers to a rapid evaluation and stabilization of the airway and circulation. Secondary survey, on the other hand, aims to detect subtle and underlying injuries that can be lethal to the victim.

With continued debate over how a trauma victim should be stabilized before help arrives, it is vital to know the basic life support for cardiac arrest that has experienced trauma. For airway, instead of doing the classic head tilt-chin lift, a jaw thrust is to be used. This is to avoid worsening of multi-trauma or traumas that affected the head and the neck area. Clear the airway of foreign matters that can obstruct the breathing including vomit, blood and other secretions. If there are bleeding on some areas, put pressure on them to reduce blood loss.

The rescuer should try to detect a pulse for as long as 10 seconds and if there is none the victim should be given CPR. Cycles of compression must be done immediately and with adequate depth and rate. Once the airway is secured, there is no need to pause for ventilation, instead, proceed with doing 100 sets of compression. It is the best scenario if there are two people available to provide the CPR needed. While the other gives cycles of compression, the other holds the jaw thrust position and breathes 8 to 10 breaths per minute. To administer a better quality of CPR, it is highly recommended that the two providers switch roles every two minutes.

While administering the CPR, watch closely for the response of the victim and keep an eye out for signs of deterioration. This can be beneficial especially if the victim has been unconscious and you have no way of further inspecting him of other underlying injuries. Your best bet relies on your primary and secondary survey.

The most important thing is to never hesitate. There is a reason why there is a psychological behavior that is attributed to being a bystander. You can choose to go the other way around and actually do something when there is something that needs to be done. Learn CPR because you never know when you will be needing to do so and it is always better to ready than sorry.

 

Current Challenges on Administering CPR

April 15, 2016Comments Off on Current Challenges on Administering CPR

You have seen it on TV before. A certain someone drops unconscious and then a person volunteers to administer cycles of compression on his chest and after a while, the ambulance arrives to take the victim away. It is good that this scene is shown on big screen where people can view CPR as a life-saving technique that can be done by anyone. How hard could it be when it is just pressing on the chest, right?

There is a chain of survival that indicates the key factors in helping a cardiac arrest victim survive. Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system is the first step. After that CPR should follow along with defibrillation. Soon after comes the advanced life support and integrated post-cardiac arrest. All of these factors come into play when a person suffers from cardiac arrest.

Unfortunately, numerous bystanders choose not to act when a victim experiences a sudden cardiac arrest. The longer an unconscious, pulseless victim is left unattended, the lower his chances of survival are. While waiting for professional help, CPR must be administered on the patient to prevent the delay of blood circulation on the brain.

Efforts have been made to encourage people to immediately react to situations like this. Partly, one reason why the American Heart Association changed the ABC to CAB approach is to encourage bystanders to give CPR if excretions in the mouth put them off. Unfortunately, the failure to recognize and act on a cardiac arrest victim remains a challenge even to this day. It is needless to say that there are numerous points on the chain of survival that should be given emphasis on. Bystanders should understand the role they play in saving someone’s life and that role is a bit on the major side.

There is also an emphasis given on the quality of CPR being administered on a cardiac arrest victim. Remember the TV scenario? Yes, most of the time they provide a good example of poor CPR. It is important to understand that chest compressions are the foundation of a good kind of CPR. There is a significant statistic that show a high number of people who either provide shallow depth or inadequate amount of CPR. Administering CPR can be physically draining, this is why it is better if there can be two providers who will do CPR.

Another challenge that needs to be addressed is the lengthy interruptions during administering of CPR. From a moment of doubt to the pausing during CPR, have significant impact on the survival rate of the victim. Even the minimal interruption to breathe into the victim after 30 cycles of compression affect the quality of CPR done. It is noteworthy to mention that manual CPR, provided in highest quality possible, provides 30-40% blood flow to the brain and 10-20% to the heart, meeting the minimal blood flow needed in those organs. Further developments on the issue of interruptions need to be addressed to maximize the potential of CPR.

Different studies are still underway to develop even better and effective way of giving high quality of CPR. These efforts are aimed to surpass the challenges mentioned above. Better yet, it is highly encouraged that everyone be well-aware of on how to administer CPR.

The Know-Hows of Automated External Defibrillator

April 13, 2016Comments Off on The Know-Hows of Automated External Defibrillator

The magical electric-giving pads. This is how most TV series and films portray an Automated External Defibrillator most commonly referred to as AEDs. Unfortunately, this machine is not magical at all and no, it does not revive a patient. This is one of the most common misconception about how AEDs work. It is vital that everyone get a clear idea on the facts regarding this equipment that can extend a life, not bring it back.

Due to the developments to medical equipment, the manual defibrillator that can only be used within the vicinity of the hospital can now be used by more people. The AED is programmed in such a way that even people who have no proper training can give a shock to a patient in need of it. Due to its size and mobility features, more and more people can have access to AED. Therefore, making it possible to save more lives even when a cardiac arrest happens outside the vicinity of a hospital.

In many ways CPR and AED work together to increase the chances of survival of a cardiac arrest victim. There are times when an AED is not readily available and CPR is the best alternative. Administering CPR can ensure that there is at least minimal blood flow of oxygenated blood to vital organs such as the brain. In short, high quality CPR can buy a patient some time and even improve the chances of survival in AED. There has been a positive correlation to the quality of compressions to the success rate of AED on cardiac arrest patients.

It is only normal to have inhibitions on using AED since it involves an actual life. It can be overwhelming and this is why everyone can do with helpful facts and not on baseless hearsays. Shocks from AED are not harmful and the only thing that you can feel is a tinge when you are in contact with the patient. It is, however, better to practice precaution by wearing latex gloves if available. AEDs are very easy to use even without proper training. When in doubt, call 911 then utilize the AED. The operator as well as the guidelines in the equipment itself will guide you all throughout the process. Try to follow everything as dutifully as possible. When placing the pads on the victim’s chest, be sure to follow the diagram as closely as possible.

Certain situations that involve the current condition of the patient also comes into light when giving AED shocks. When the victim is a woman and is wearing a bra, move it upwards until it reaches the neck then follow the diagram on where the pads should be placed. In isolated cases of men with hairy chest, it is better to keep the hair out by shaving them off. Keep a shaver with the AED for these cases. Defibrillation works best in dry surfaces and if a victim is drenched in water, towel the chest area dry.

In general, having an AED and appropriate knowledge on administering it will always, always be for the good. This is one reason why more organizations are clamoring for having more AEDs in areas where large group of people gather. Even more, trainings for CPR and AED is highly recommended for everyone.

The Appropriate Situations When You Can Use AED

April 11, 2016Comments Off on The Appropriate Situations When You Can Use AED

Back in the days, defibrillators fail to see past the walls of a hospital. Aside from this, to be able to use one you have to be knowledgeable on reading the heart’s rhythm to determine whether or not a shock is needed in the first place. Thankfully, the advancements in technology made defibrillator an equipment that can be used by a common citizen, with or without prior knowledge on using it. This aspect of AED is a real game-turner that has significantly lessened the number of cardiac arrest-related deaths.

There are times and situations, however, when AED should not be used. It is necessary to know just what situations call for the use of this equipment. There are times when AED can pose a hazard to people around the patient. This equipment gives shock to help a cardiac arrest victim’s heartbeat. If the patient is lying on a metal surface, delivering the necessary shock can be dangerous for both the patient and the people around him. Prior knowledge about conductors of electric current come into play when defining the tricky conditions on using AED. For precaution, be aware of the surroundings when trying to give this first aid.

What if the patient is lying on a puddle or is partially soaked? You have to weigh a lot of factors on this one. If the patient is a trauma-victim, it is for the best that you do not move him. Underlying injuries that cannot be evaluated just by looking may or may not be present and moving him is the least you would want to do. In this situation, dry his chest and remove any wet clothing before attaching the pads. If you are positive that the patient is not in anyway, suffering from trauma, move him to a dry place before using the AED. Be wary of combustible materials such as gasoline or solvents as well.

The analysis of AED on the heart rhythm of a patient can also be affected by varying factors. Remember how people who specialize in reading the heart rhythm of a patient should analyze the patient before administering a shock? An AED can do that even without an operator, however, it can also go wrong. If you are on a moving vehicle, for example, an AED’s analysis can go wrong by administering a shock when it is not needed. This can highly affect the patient’s condition. Aside from this, contact with body hair can also lessen the efficiency of AED. If the patient has a hairy chest, you must shave it so the pads can do its job appropriately.

The AED has gone a long way since it was first invented as a manual equipment that are doomed to never reach the outside of the hospital walls. The easy-to-use and mobility functions of AED has literally increased survival rates. Science has already and been doing its part and it is time that people step up of their plate. The equipment is very easy to use and hand-in-hand with CPR, anyone can save one life at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions on Administering CPR

April 7, 2016Comments Off on Frequently Asked Questions on Administering CPR

Administering CPR is one of the most important first aid practices that should be learned by everyone who is healthy enough to do it. This is due to the possibility of cardiac arrest happening to anyone. It can happen anytime, anywhere.

Perhaps you have just seen the act done on TV of have heard of it somewhere and it spiked your interest. Knowing the basic information with regards to CPR can always be handy in times of crisis. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about it.

What is CPR?

CPR stands for Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation that involves sets of compression on the chest and breathing for a victim that has just had a cardiac arrest. When cardiac arrest happens outside the hospital, CPR is administered as a first aid and must be continued until professional help arrives.

Can CPR cause death?

CPR can save lives and no; it cannot cause death. A cardiac arrest victim has just suffered a sudden blackout of the heart, disrupting the blood flow to important vital organs such as the brain and the lungs. CPR helps replace the function of the heart by pounding on the chest with sets of compression that aims to continue the blood flow to these organs. Yes, he is not dead but he will soon be if not attended to. CPR cannot cause death and basically cardiac arrest victims are close to being clinically dead. The only way to increase their chances of survival is through CPR. The only thing that can cause death is if a bystander does not do anything at all.

What are the basics of CPR?

Before CPR’s first step is to ensure that the victim has a free airway, then the rescuer would breathe into the victim’s mouth then start doing compression. This method is the ABC approach. Recently, the American Heart Association (AHA) has changed this to CAB approach. Due to this, a rescuer has to start giving out compressions right away. The sets of compressions should be fast and deep, going to at least two inches of depth on the victim’s chest. After 30 sets of compression, breathe into the victim’s mouth twice, then get back to compressing the chest. This should be repeated with minimal interruptions until professional help arrives.

In which moments should I use ABC approach?

Now it is important to note that there are cases when the ABC approach must be done instead of CAB. For starters, newborn infants require this approach since the cause of cardiac arrest is most likely to be hypoxia or the deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. This is why there should be emphasis given on the importance of supplying the breaths to increase the survival rate instead of sets of compression. Aside from this, patients that do not have pulse due to hypothermia or the lack of needed heat in the body requires CPR in ABC approach as well.

These are just some of the questions that most CPR-interested people ask. These pieces of information are critical and knowing them can make a difference; however, undergoing training for CPR can be better than just reading about the practice or watching online videos about it. An intensive CPR training will properly equip you with the much-needed skills for administering proper CPR.

How To Administer CPR on Pregnant Women

April 5, 2016Comments Off on How To Administer CPR on Pregnant Women

Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone in no particular time. Kids and pregnant women are not exceptions to suffering from this condition. When cardiac arrest strikes on women that are carrying a life inside of them, certain factors have to be considered.

The first thing that one can do is to fully understand the physical changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy. These changes will significantly affect resuscitation and chances of survival of both the mother and the infant.

Blood flow has to be considered when one administers CPR. A pregnant woman, for that matter, will have her blood volume increased by 50%. Her red cell volume increases for only 30%. To accommodate this volume, the woman’s heart has to work extra hard by increasing the heart rate by 15%.

Aside from this, a woman’s respiratory system has moved upward to accommodate the growth of the uterus that houses the infant. This in turn leads to displacement of trachea and the diaphragm. Notice how pregnant women tend to breathe faster than normal. This is her respiratory system’s attempt to meet the increased oxygen need.

Another thing that has to adjust to give space for the growing infant is the gastrointestinal aspect of the body. Due to the displacement of the stomach as it moves upward, a pregnant woman is considered to be prone to heartburn and constipation. In fact, pregnant women are always considered to have a “full stomach” increasing the risk for aspiration or the drawing of foreign matter into the lungs, especially during resuscitation.

The biggest change happens in the uterus to house the infant for 8 to 9 months. The uterus has gone so big that there is a higher risk of aortocaval compression when the woman is in a supine position that can lead to hypotension and loss of consciousness.

All of these changes in the body of a pregnant woman has to be considered in case of a cardiac arrest event. The first step will always be to get someone to call help but in this situation mention that the victim is a pregnant woman and request the presence of an obstetrician.

To administer the required sets of compression, the rescuer must manually move the uterus to the left to ensure that the major veins have blood flow. Just like with any cardiac arrest victim make sure that the victim is lying on a flat surface and if the surface can be tilted make use of it. When the worst scenario happens, consider getting a caesarean section (C-section) to get the baby out. Professional help is much needed to secure the safety of both the mother and the baby.

These guidelines are considered safe and have helped save more lives. It is noteworthy that the mortality rate of pregnant women due to cardiac arrest has significantly decreased since these guidelines are issued by the American Heart Association (AHA).

CPR, undoubtedly, saves lives. Even in delicate situations, it increases the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim. This is why it is of utmost important that everyone know the basics of administering the proper CPR on different persons—children, pregnant women, and the like.

Understanding CPR and The Importance of Continuous Oxygen Supply in the Brain

March 31, 2016Comments Off on Understanding CPR and The Importance of Continuous Oxygen Supply in the Brain

CPR is commonly attributed to the act of pumping the heart of a victim of sudden cardiac arrest in the effort to resuscitate it. Most people do not know that pumping the heart is one of the ways of getting oxygen into the bloodstream and into the brain. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation does not necessary entail the restarting of the heart. The primary purpose of cardiopulmonary resuscitation is to deliver oxygen to the brain continuously.

Oxygen for the brain is fuel for the body’s engine. Without enough oxygen, the brain may experience symptoms such as memory loss, malfunctioning motor skills, lack of focus and decision-making skills, seizure, going comatose, inability to breath, and brain death. These symptoms all occur due to the lack of proper oxygen to keep the brain working properly. These symptoms lead to the disease called brain hypoxia.

Anyone is at risk of cutting off the brain’s supply of oxygen. Those who experience head trauma, or those who do activities that expose them to sustained low-oxygen environments are more susceptible to developing brain hypoxia, as well as those who have hypotension, ALS, or asthma. For victims of sudden cardiac arrests, brain hypoxia is a very common threat, saved only by proper administration of CPR by trained persons.

The brain functions thanks to the supply of glucose and oxygen allowing the nerve impulses to occur within the brain. This is a very energy consuming process hence the need for the continuous supply of glucose and oxygen. A minute without oxygen can cause the brain to shut down and cause small complications such as dizziness and loss of focus. The longer a person lacks the supply of oxygen in their brain, the more complications will arise. It is to say that for victims of cardiac arrest, loss of heart activity directly relates to lack of oxygen in the brain. CPR is the only way to sustain the supply of oxygen as it directly compresses and expands the heart, forcing blood through blood vessels just to deliver it to the brain.

To prevent brain hypoxia, the most important thing to do is to see a doctor on whether brain hypoxia is a threat to your health due to your activities or any unknown cause. Unexpected deprivation of oxygen is also a possible event, for example during a fire, immediately administering proper CPR will prevent the condition from getting worse fast.

The proper way of administering CPR is through consistent pumping of the chest cavity to make the heart compress and expand naturally. It is important to get the right amount of pressure, as too little will not make a difference, and too much may result in more internal injuries that could complicate things furthermore. For those who want to be prepared in the event that anyone in the vicinity would need immediate CPR treatment, going to training to hone your skill is a great option. Finding the right training program near you can help you become proficient in providing the necessary procedure for those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest and brain hypoxia.

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