CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a lifesaving technique that can be used to revive someone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating. CPR involves pushing on the person’s chest to circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body and then blowing into the person’s mouth to provide oxygen. CPR is important for keeping someone alive until they can get to the hospital or receive medical attention. Once the heart has stopped beating, damage to the brain and other organs can occur after about four minutes due to a lack of blood flow and oxygen. However, CPR can keep the blood circulating and prevent damage.
Given the importance of CPR, the American Heart Association recommends that everyone learn this lifesaving procedure. To learn CPR, you can attend a training class offered through many local organizations, or you can attend a CPR first aid online class. Online training is the easiest method for getting a certificate. It’s essential that you receive CPR and first aid training so that you can step in if an emergency arises. Let’s take a look at how CPR works.
Assess the scene.
When giving assistance in an emergency, the first thing you should do is make sure the scene is safe. If you can assist the casualty safely, you can begin assessing their injuries. You should first try to elicit a response from the casualty by asking if they are ok. If it’s clear that help is needed, you need to call 911 quickly to ensure that help is on the way. If you encounter someone who is unresponsive and not breathing, it is important to remain calm and take action. If the person is not breathing, you will need to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Open the airway.
Before you begin CPR, you need to ensure that the person is lying on his or her back. Next, you will want to tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin and open the airway. You should listen carefully for sounds of breathing, for no more than 10 seconds. It’s important to note that occasional gasping sounds are not the same as breathing. If the person is not breathing and they are in cardiac arrest, you will need to begin CPR.
Begin chest compressions.
To perform compressions, place the heel of one hand on the center of the person’s chest and the other hand on top of the first. Compress the chest by pushing down firmly and quickly. You should use enough force to depress the chest by at least two inches. To be effective, the compressions should be rhythmic, with a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. This will ensure that adequate blood continues to pump throughout the body. You should do this in cycles of about 30 compressions.
Administer rescue breaths.
After 30 compressions, you’ll need to give two rescue breaths to the person. This can be done by tilting the person’s head back and opening their airway again. You’ll need to blow deeply into their mouth until you see their chest rise.
If the chest does not rise with the initial breath, you should re-tilt the person’s head before delivering the second breath. If the chest still doesn’t rise, the person may be choking. After each subsequent set of 30 chest compressions, look for an object in the throat and, if seen, remove it before delivering a rescue breath. These rescue breaths help provide the person with oxygenated blood during CPR. You should continue with cycles of chest compressions and breathing until the person begins breathing on their own or until a medical responder arrives and takes over.
It’s important to understand the basics of CPR and how to respond in an emergency situation. CPR works to keep a person’s blood pumping and prevent damage until they can get medical help. However, this technique is only effective if done properly. CPR and first aid training is the best way to ensure that you can assist someone in distress.