CPR: The Life-saving first aid

February 5, 2015Comments Off on CPR: The Life-saving first aid

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, refers to a combination of techniques intended to manually pump the heart to get blood circulating in the body. The aim of doing so is to deliver oxygen to the brain of a person under sudden cardiac arrest until definitive measures are taken to get the heart working again. In most cases, these “definitive measures” are carried out by paramedics or medical professionals in the hospital.

If a person shows no signs of life or a person is unconscious, not breathing or just gasping, a CPR must be performed right away. According to the American Heart Association, if a person is not trained to do CPR, or has had training in the past but is not confident about carrying the whole cycle out, a hands-only CPR will do. Hands-only CPR is an uninterrupted chest compression of 100 a minute until an ambulance arrives. On the other hand, if a person received CPR training and performs CPR regularly, a CPR with 30 compressions can be started before checking the airway and giving rescue breaths. Now, for a chest compression to be effective, it has to be at least an inch deep.

The American Heart Association, also known as the AHA, has also crafted an acronym- CAB for people to always remember the procedure of CPR. C stands for Compressions that will restore blood circulation, A is for airway and B is for breathing or breath for the person under cardiac arrest. This was a re-arrangement of the previous A-B-C cycle that most first aiders have come to know about in the past.

Chest compression is done by placing the heel of one hand on the center of a person’s chest, placing the other hand on top of the first hand and pushing straight down the chest for at least 2 inches. It is important to remember to keep the elbows straight and placing the shoulders directly above the hands. The chest compression should also be done in a smoother manner, without the aider jerking on each pump. This is to prevent unnecessary pressure on the ribs of the patient.

In clearing the person’s airway, the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver is done. By putting the palm on a person’s forehead, tilting it back and lifting the chin to forward, the airway is opened. Of course, in some cases, tilting the head and lifting the chin might not be enough. That being the case, you need to make sure that you do an inspection of the throat. Once airway is open, pinch the person’s nostrils and prepare to give a rescue breath. If the chest rises, give a second breath. Repeat the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver. These instructions are not substitute for training, though. It is still best to undergo training to learn CPR and who knows, one might save a life.

If you are interested in knowing how to administer CPR, your best move would be to take advantage of the different CPR training programs currently being offered by Citywide CPR