CPR is a lifesaving emergency procedure that delivers blood flow and oxygen to a person suffering cardiac arrest. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CPR saves lives by manually pumping blood to the brain and breathing for someone who is clinically dead until qualified emergency services personnel take over. The CPR procedure is relatively simple and comprised of only a few steps, but applying the knowledge can be daunting, especially if someone’s life is in your hands.
Fortunately, emergencies don’t come along every day and there is every chance that knowing how to do CPR will rarely be needed. On the downside, when knowledge isn’t practiced it is soon forgotten. For this reason, providers of first aid courses insist on scheduled updating of first aid qualifications for remaining confident and capable of performing CPR correctly. Find some of our FAQs online to know more.
Can anyone perform CPR?
First consolidated in the mid 20th century, the CPR procedural steps are now practised worldwide. Knowing how to do CPR properly is easy to learn, so education is the first step. Graduates of first aid courses are armed with valuable CPR knowledge that can help victims survive cardiac arrest. Additionally, CPR isn’t age-specific and can be performed equally effectively by adults and children
CPR principles can be applied on people of all ages, although a lighter approach is used for toddlers and babies. School groups are ideal candidates to undertake first aid courses. Information and techniques learned at a young age are more likely to be retained, plus kids find the subject fascinating, especially the CPR component. Regardless of age, a simulated environment for first aid courses challenges participants to work together in real-life scenarios while also encouraging ongoing confidence for helping people in need.
How can I tell if someone needs CPR?
In an CPR emergency situation there isn’t much time act before long-term damage begins.. If a person is keeled over or appears lifeless there is obviously a problem that needs immediate attention. However, there may be other medical issues at play and a diagnosis is important. Breathing is the key signifiers that determine the need for CPR. In other words, if someone has stopped breathing CPR should be performed straight away. First aid courses arm everyday people with the tools to help in a number of life or death situations, including:
- Sudden collapse
- Extreme breathing difficulties
- Exposure to smoke or inhalants
- Drug overdose
What are chest compressions?
Chest compressions are an essential component of CPR. Manually forcing blood flow from the heart dramatically reduces the risk of brain damage in addition to heart and other organ damage. Each chamber of the heart contains a valve for regulating the direction of bloodflow, and once blood has left the heart it flows through arteries to every part of the body and then back to the heart through the veins this cycle is uninterrupted in the health person.
Chest compressions force and encourage bloodflow even in a patient who seems unresponsive. Compressions (and other CPR procedures) can be continued for several minutes without causing additional harm. Chest compressions need to be firm enough to encourage blood flow, and the recoil between compressions is equally important. During compression the heart chambers act in similar fashion to a sponge, pushing out blood when compressed and sucking up additional blood from the veins during recoil – ready for the next compression.
Can chest compressions help even without mouth-to-mouth?
Something is always better than nothing, and chest compressions alone save lives. In an emergency situation where there is no breathing an untrained person should perform hands-only CPR – even if they aren’t fully confident. Chest compressions are delivered at a rate of between 100-120 per minute, stimulating the amount of oxygenated blood flow required to mimic a beating heart.
What other steps are used when performing CPR?
CPR consists of relatively simple steps involving compressions, clearing airways, and rescue breathing. By undertaking a basic first aid course, anyone can learn how to do CPR and deliver treatment in the correct sequence.
After 30 chest compressions are completed a person trained in how to do CPR will deliver two normal breaths via their mouth or a face shield or facemask. A head-tilt, chin-lift manoeuvre is used to open the patients airway before delivering these breaths.
If available, a defibrillator (Automatic-External-Defibrillator – AED) should be attached to the patient’s bare chest as soon as possible. The first-aider should follow the voice prompts of the AED – defibrillator and allow the machine to analyse the patients heart and deliver a shock if it determines it is required. Defibrillation is an important part of CPR but should not interrupt compressions. The only time compressions should be stopped is when the machine is analysing and shocking. Check out more products here.
People who save another’s life usually don’t want to be labelled as heroes, instead stating that it was just their natural response that kicked in to save the day. First aid courses and services help develop that natural response, and no matter how humble the rescuer may be, the person whose life is saved will always consider their saviour a hero. The travel scholarship offered by Real Response can help too!