What You Need to Know About AED and CPR

October 13, 2012Comments Off on What You Need to Know About AED and CPR

Most people associate first aid with having to administer CPR. Although most cases would not require CPR, it would still be to a person’s advantage if he or she knows how to perform CPR. If you are one of those who are raring to understand what CPR is about and how you can use it in order to save a person’s life, there are some things that you might want to keep in mind first.

CPR, which stands for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, is not something that you actually need to do every time a person suffers a heart problem. CPR could only be administered if the patient is suffering from cardiac arrest. So how is cardiac arrest different from a heart attack? In a cardiac arrest, the blood stops circulating because heart fails to contract effectively. On the other hand, in a heart attack situation, the coronary artery gets blocked which leads to insufficient blood flow to a specific part of the heart muscle. Simply put, in a heart attack, only a certain part of the heart muscle dies as opposed to the whole heart dying which takes place in a cardiac arrest. While the former could be addressed by a heart surgery, the latter, if not attended to immediately, typically leads to death.

In a cardiac arrest situation, the person attending to the victim would first have to make sure that the latter lays flat on his or her back. You would need to check first for pulse and breathing as well as consciousness in order to assess if a CPR is needed. There are four recognized methods of administering CPR – the standard method, the compression only method, the method for pregnant patients, and specialized methods such as interposed abdominal compressions and  internal cardiac massage. The standard CPR usually follows the pattern C-A-B. That being the case, chest compression as well as artificial respiration is administered to the patient. This is unlike the compression-only method where, as the name implies,  there is no more need to administer artificial respiration. Compression-only CPR is very much recommended, and is highly suitable, for lay persons who do not have any training in CPR. With the compression-only method, the first aider would only need to focus on providing 100 compressions per minute with each compression going as deep as 5cm.

CPR for pregnant women, on the other hand, would require an additional step. That is, the first aider would need to push the uterus to the left side in order to prevent it from compressing the inferior vena cava while lying down.

For most people who are unsure of how CPR should be done, they can always rely on an AED, Automated External Defibrillator. This device is used in order to administer electrical shocks that could help normalize the beating pattern of the heart. Units also comes with verbal as well as visual instructions on how the CPR should be done as well as how to use the AED.

Learn more about CPR and AED by attending Citywide CPR’s CPR training and certification program.