Handling A Medical Emergency
If someone suddenly falls beside you unconscious, can you honestly say that you would know what to do? Most people would probably give a negative answer. After all, not everyone of us had actually undergone a CPR training program. If you belong to this group of people, what are the things that you need to keep in mind?
- If someone is already attending to the unconscious victim, your best bet would be to dial 9-1-1 and report the emergency. However, if there is no one around attending to the victim, you might have to start CPR while dialing 9-1-1. Keep in mind that, in cases of unconscious victims, each minute that vital organs are not able to get the needed oxygen, the probability of the victim not making it through, increases.
- When doing chest compressions, make sure that you look first for the end of the sternum. From the end, measure two inches up. This is where you need to place the heel of your palm. Each of your compression should be at least 5 centimeters in depth. You would need to make as much as 100 compressions per minute. Just like what most professionals would say, the best way to ensure that your timing is correct is to go along the beat of Stayin’ Alive.
- If you are within any establishment, check if there is an AED unit available. Since most states have made it mandatory to have an AED on hand, it would be impossible for you to be in a place where there is no AED around. The AED can help you assess the condition of the victim or patient. It would also help you decide whether there is a need for electrical shocks or not. The unit can also prove to be useful especially for those who do not have background in how proper CPR is done. This is because most AED units come with both visual and audio prompts that help guide the user on what to do next.
- If there is no AED unit around, and you are not sure how CPR is done, the best that you can do is administer hands-only CPR. This process means that you have to continuously administer chest compressions until (1) you are already tired and there is someone in the crowd who can take your place, or (2) the paramedics have arrived. In some cases, although this is very rare, compressions can help revive the victim. If this happens, make sure that you bring the victim to the hospital in order to assess his or her condition.
- Keep in mind that the hands-only or compression-only CPR can only be used for adults and children. For pregnant women as well as infants, a different set of CPR procedure is to be used. This is because the pressure involved in traditional chest compressions and CPR may not be suited for the small bodies of infants.
Make sure that you are not caught unaware. One way that you can do this is by undergoing a CPR training and certification program being offered by Citywide CPR.