CPR: What You Should Know First as a Beginner
Brain damage and death are the two worst conditions that could take place from a person suffering from severe malfunctioning of heart. That is why even laymen or ordinary citizens are now strongly encouraged by the American Heart Association (AHA) to get to know what could be done to save a person caught in a between-life-and-death situation. Everyone must keep in mind that the more the life-threatening symptoms are prolonged without application of any first-aid care, the lower the victim’s chance of survival will be.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR has been considered as the primary action that an immediate responder should apply to a sufferer of heart failure or any condition of the heart resulting to seizure. This is especially given to the victim when he is in an unconscious state, has no pulse, and does not breathe. Take note of this generalized chart on the victim’s chance of survival with respect to the time CPR is applied:
- 0 to 4 minutes after the symptoms occurred – minimal chances of brain damage
- 4 to 6 minutes after the symptoms occurred – fair possibility of brain damage
- 6 to 10 minutes after the symptoms occurred – high chances of brain damage
- More than 10 minutes after the symptoms occurred – high chances of brain death
Before doing CPR, there are several preventive measures that must be realized and done as quickly as possible. First, make sure both of you and the patient are in a safe place – must be away from any pointed object, moving mechanical equipment, open source of fire or electricity, passing vehicles, and other means of harm. Although it is not advisable to take time moving the victim to another location, it is still preferable to do CPR to a more spacious area in order to provide better airway to the patient and also so you can perform CPR much better. If possible, call 911 or any medical expert within the area immediately before you provide the necessary first aid care.
CPR is basically done in a cycle of 3 major steps, abbreviated as C-A-B. C is for chest compression, which is intended to provide artificial blood circulation that prolongs the decay of the brain tissues while the heart is inactive. External chest compressions are typically at least 2 inches deep for adults (less for children) at a cycle of 100 times per minute. If there’s no sign of progress, proceed to A, which stands for airway. It is simply positioning the patient’s head and body in a way that there would be a clear airway for him. Just carefully tilt the patient’s head back using one hand and lift his chin forward using your other hand. Lastly, B stands for breathing, which is usually in the form of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation that intends to provide artificial breathing to the patient. You can skip this part and go back to chest compressions if you are not comfortable doing it.
You can also go for a CPR training course for more useful information. Citywide CPR provides extensive CPR training programs to those who want to become a more effective and responsible lifesaver.