The human body works like a machine. Here the heart is the engine that pumps blood to make other organs work. But, if something happens to this vital organ, the entire unit would shut down within minutes. The heart muscles shut down either due to lack of oxygen or through reduced contractions. With the right technique and practice, administering Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation can help the patient. While the principle remains constant, both methods differ slightly. Restarting the heart is vital for the body and its organs to function, that is where you need CPR.
What is the right time to administer CPR?
A rise in heart attack cases and lifestyle diseases makes learning CPR essential. Many people still underestimate the power of knowledge. Like any medical procedure, this one too has a procedure to it. While details about the steps come later. It is crucial that one recognizes the common signs of a heart attack in a patient. You must know when to administer this process so that no added harm comes to them. Below are some situations where CPR could help:
- Unconsciousness: A sudden fall to the ground, losing consciousness, or fainting. A heart attack could manifest as any of these silent actions.
- Not breathing: When you feel no air passing through the patient’s nostrils.
- Gasping: It is a medical term for taking long breaths from the mouth. Pain in the chest could also manifest.
The moment you encounter any of these in a person, start the process. The human body craves oxygen, and your actions could give someone a second chance at life. Witnessing a person in cardiac arrest could cloud a bystander’s decision. It happens to the best of people, yet it is mandatory to keep calm. You must remember that CPR is only first aid. So, call the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) team as your first line of response. Lookout for signs that point toward a person suffering from a failing heart.
If a patient is younger than 1 year old:
– If the patient is less than 30 minutes from death, start CPR immediately. As long as the heart remains beating, the body will generate enough blood flow to maintain brain function.
– If the patient is older than 1 year old but less than 4 years old: Start CPR if there has been cardiac arrest and no response to standard medical treatments (i.e., chest compressions, defibrillation). Continue CPR until medical help arrives.
If a patient is older than 4 years old but less than 8 years old: If there has been cardiac arrest and no response to standard medical treatments (i.e., chest compressions, defibrillation), start CPR if there is patency across the airway (no vomit or frothy sputum). If there is obstruction of the airway, administer rescue breaths and resume standard resuscitation measures if the obstruction clears. If patency across the airway cannot be confirmed, begin cardiopulmonary bypass without delay.
What are the steps used when performing CPR?
During any medical emergency, the strongest of hearts fluster. Instead of becoming a helpless bystander, become a lifesaver. The steps to administering CPR follow a process. It always starts with calling the EMS in your area and reporting the incident. While you will try to help the patient sustain, they will need a hospital for long-term survival. CPR follows the below steps:
- Check patients for signs of breathing and make them lie down.
- Blow into the patient’s mouth, and make sure you see the chest wall rise
- Use both hands to press the patient’s chest in calculated yet quick pumps.
- Carry on for three to four minutes. Always give over a hundred pushes per minute.
Administering CPR requires the presence of mind, patience, and a positive attitude.
What are the Benefits of CPR?
The basic concept behind administering CPR lies in the flow of oxygen. The human body uses blood as a carrier of oxygen. The heart is a pumping and distribution channel. It receives deoxygenated blood from the body and sends it to the lungs. It also receives clean, oxygen-laden blood from the lungs. Which then goes to all the body’s organs. Hence, you can imagine the havoc when this distribution channel stops.
CPR mimics the impulse received by the heart muscles to pump the good and bad blood. Thereby, keeping the organs alive and kicking. The air blown into the mouth sends the needed oxygen to the lungs. While the pumping action of the hands lets the heart muscles send blood to the lungs to work on the air. It keeps the body from degeneration until professional medical help arrives. CPR helps the patient from going into a brain-dead stage or losing any organ.
When to Call for Medical Assistance
If you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing, it is important to call 911. These symptoms could indicate a heart attack and require immediate medical attention. CPR should also be performed if someone falls unconscious and does not respond when attempting to be roused. A person can die from cardiac arrest if CPR is not administered within minutes.
What is an AED and how to use it?
An AED is an Automated External Defibrillator. It is a device that can be used to restart a person’s heart if they are not breathing or have stopped beating, when CPR is not working.
To use an AED:
- Check to see if the AED is inoperable. If it is, move away from the device and call for help.
- Place the victim on their back with their head down.
- Open the battery cover and press the button to activate the AED.
- Place one hand on top of the chest and place the other hand on either side of the victim’s head, close to their ears (Figure 1).
- Push down hard on the chest with both hands (Figure 2) while simultaneously pressing down on either side of the victim’s head with your fingers (Figure 3).
- Continue compressions until help arrives or for two minutes after activation has stopped whichever comes first.
If you find that your AED is not working, there are a few things that you can do in order to try and fix the issue. First, make sure that the battery is fully charged. If you are using an older model of AED, check to see if the electrode pads are properly attached to the AED. If they are not attached properly, gently pull on the pads until they are seated properly. Finally, if all else fails, you may need to bring your AED in for repair or replacement.
Understanding the signs of cardiac arrest is essential for every individual. Including it in the middle school syllabus is the need of the hour. That way, children could help their grandparents or others undergoing a similar situation. Admitting CPR at the right moment could save a loved one. The American Health Care Academy (AHCA) understands the importance of CPR. They bring you some of the best online CPR certification courses. You will get a certificate and wallet card to practice it in emergencies. But, nothing compares to the opportunity to become a helpful citizen of society. So, head over to the AHCA website and register for the CPR certification course today.