CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a lifesaving technique that is performed when the heart stops beating. You may have seen in a movie, a person giving mouth-to-mouth to an individual who loses consciousness. While you may have wondered how people know when to perform CPR or how it is performed, this blog can provide you with step-by-step information to help you familiarise yourself with how CPR works.
Anyone including children can perform CPR if the proper technique is known. If you are wondering about the need to know CPR, it becomes crucial if anyone around you suffers from a cardiac arrest, even at home. Please note that this blog is only for informational purposes and does not replace the significance of a doctor’s consultation. You can book your consultation with BM Birla Heart Research Centre in Kolkata, the only cardiac hospital in the Eastern region with the best cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and other healthcare professionals.
CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation refers to the emergency procedure that can be done to save a person’s life if their breathing stops. There are several reasons which can result in sudden malfunction in the heart and thus, may require immediate resuscitation. Such individuals if do not receive help from the bystanders before the ambulance arrives, can lead to serious health hazards.
CPR keeps the blood flow active, even partially until medical help arrives. A timely CPR can increase the chances of survival in many patients. There are two commonly known versions of CPR - Conventional CPR for trained healthcare professionals and Compression-only CPR for anyone who witnesses an individual sudden collapsing.
The primary aim of CPR is to resuscitate the victim or maintain the blood flow until the emergency medical team arrives. Before beginning CPR, it is important to call an ambulance as soon as possible. CPR procedure is done in different methods depending on whether the individual is a bystander or a trained professional. You don’t need formal training or special certification to perform CPR. Compression-only CPR or Hands-only CPR is done without mouth-to-mouth breaths. You must push hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes a minute. If that confuses you, some heart associations recommend timing the pushes to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees”.
Conventional CPR can be performed using chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth at a ratio of 30:2 compressions-to-breath. In the case of adult victims, medical professionals usually perform chest compressions at a ratio of 100 to 120/min to a depth of at least 5cm. In case there is an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) available, the machine can provide an electrical shock to the heart and cause it to begin beating again. However, it should be done by trained medical personnel.
A simple concept that can help you remember the basic steps during the CPR procedure is called C-A-B.
C stands for compression and is done using your hands to push down hard in a specific area of the chest. This is one of the most crucial steps during CPR. Here is how to do compression:
A Stands for airway and is the passage from where you can provide mouth-to-mouth if you are trained in CPR procedures. After completing 30 chest compressions, you can open the person’s airway using the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver. Put your palm on the individual’s forehead and gently tilt the head backward. Using the other hand, lift the chin gently to open the airways to proceed with the mouth-to-mouth maneuver.
Breathing can be mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose in case the mouth is seriously injured. The CPR procedure for children is very similar and the C-A-B technique can be used. In the case of 4-week-old babies or older, cardiac arrest may be due to a lack of oxygen. Check for any blockage in the airway and perform first aid for choking. If you do not figure out the reason why the child is not breathing, perform CPR. Here are some steps to follow during rescue breathing -
It is vital to keep calm during emergency situations like heart-related emergencies. The tension is high in times of emergencies, but it is important to stay calm and confident. If you find yourself in a life-and-death situation and immediate medical assistance is unavailable, the victim’s only hope may be you. The seven steps for CPR:
Immediate CPR can double or even triple the chances of survival if the heart stops beating. Every year millions of people die because of cardiac arrest which can be prevented by taking adequate steps on time. People who are aware of the technique of CPR can prevent the chances of fatalities.
A recent study has shown the potential of children performing hands-on CPR. With proper training and hand-only CPR, the majority of children can help save lives and reduce fatalities at home. In the end, it is all about the bystanders’ quick decision and awareness, that the CPR procedure can be effective.
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CPR should be stopped once the patient starts to show signs of life like moving, breathing, coughing, and opening the eyes.
CPR is given to someone when he/she has stopped breathing and is not showing any signs of life due to cardiac arrest.
You should look for breathing while performing CPR for around ten seconds.