Bystanders Can Save Lives through CPR

November 16, 2015Comments Off on Bystanders Can Save Lives through CPR

Surely you’ve heard bystanders saving a life of a total stranger who went into cardiac arrest. How is this even possible – you may ask? And, the answer is: CPR training.

During cardiac arrest, there is this golden period – which refers to the time elapsing before permanent brain damage due to oxygen deprivation ensues. If you are a bystander and you know how to perform CPR because of training before, you can actually give patients a second chance at life.

Around 10% of patients receiving CPR from lay people or bystanders have been discharged following cardiac arrest with no or minimal – if any – untoward effects to brain function. You may think that 10% is almost equivalent to insignificant but in a population of 1,000 cardiac arrest cases – you are actually looking at 100 people living their second chances and this is something you should not brush off as insignificant.

If all bystanders or lay people are given adequate training and awareness on CPR, this 10% would probably increase in the next years to come.

Cardiac Arrest Need Early Intervention

What better way to intervene early than to perform cardiac compressions right away or as soon as you spotted a pulseless, unconscious individual? Whether it is done by you or other bystanders in the area, early intervention to cardiac arrest increases survival and promotes good prognosis. As some medical professionals would say, “Better for you to make mistake (on performing CPR) than do nothing and watch someone die when you could’ve done something.”

What Makes People Hesitate?

Often, bystanders hesitate to perform CPR because of varying reasons and this includes legal consequences. Another reason is that people are often afraid that they’re doing something wrong and they may be doing more harm than good.

However, these fears – no matter how real – should not stop you from getting trained and perform CPR when the need arises. Technically, the person who has gone into cardiac arrest is already dead. What could be worse than that? CPR will just increase the patient’s survival and if CPR alongside post-cardiac arrest managements succeed – wouldn’t that be a great achievement?

What Cardiac Arrest Is?

Cardiac arrest is the cessation of the proper heart function until it cannot beat anymore due to several reasons – mainly fatigue from unsynchronized contraction of heart muscles. More often, it is due to failure of the electrical system that conducts the function of the heart, which makes it beat erratically and eventually stop from beating.

As this is so, blood cannot circulate throughout the body more particularly to the brain. The brain is the most sensitive organ to oxygen level fluctuations and if the heart could not pump blood towards it then it will lose its primary source of oxygen. Eventually, brain cells will die and so the rest of the body follows if the processor does not function anymore.

Imagining this scenario at the back of your mind, would you rather have done something than believe that CPR will not change anything? Think again. CPR may just be the only thing saving your loved one from the consequences of brain damage or even death.