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CPR! You CAN do it!

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Do you know what Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is ?

CPR is an emergency procedure performed on people suffering cardiac arrest. It is a condition in which a person's heart has stopped. The purpose of CPR is to maintain a flow of oxygenated blood and to maintain a cardiac output in order to keep the vital organs especially the brain and heart alive.

Blood circulation and oxygenation are absolute requirements in transporting oxygen to the tissues. The brain may sustain damage after blood flow has been stopped for about four minutes and irreversible damage will occur after seven minutes. If blood flow ceases for one to two hours, the cells of the body die unless they get an adequately gradual blood flow. In order to resolve this problem, CPR has to be performed effectively within seven minutes of the stoppage of blood flow.

Moreover, the heart also rapidly loses the ability to maintain a normal rhythm. Following cardiac arrest, effective CPR enables enough oxygen to reach the brain to delay brain death and allows the heart to remain responsive to defibrillation attempts.

CPR involves physical interventions to create artificial circulation through rhythmic pressing on the patient's chest to manually pump blood through the heart which is called chest compressions. CPR also involves the rescuer exhaling into the patient to ventilate the lungs and pass oxygen in to the blood.

This process is called artificial respiration. CPR is generally continued, usually in the presence of advanced life support, until the patient regains a heart beat or is declared dead. CPR is performed on people who have drowned, suffered a heart attack, or experienced a drug overdose or poisoning. CPR can also be performed in chocking victims when all else has failed.

There is no substitute for learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but emergencies don't wait for training. These instructions are for conventional adult CPR. If you've never been trained in CPR and the victim collapsed in front of you, use hands-only CPR.

These are the steps to perform adult CPR:

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: CPR should start as soon as possible

Here's How:

  1. Stay Safe! The worst thing a rescuer can do is become another victim. Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if you have it. Use common sense and stay away from potential hazards.
  2. Attempt to wake victim. Briskly rub your knuckles against the victim's sternum. If the victim does not wake, call 911 and proceed to step 3. If the victim wakes, moans, or moves, then CPR is not necessary at this time. Call 911 if the victim is confused or not able to speak.
  3. Begin rescue breathing.Open the victim's airway using the head-tilt, chin-lift method. Put your ear to the victim's open mouth:
    • look for chest movement
    • listen for air flowing through the mouth or nose
    • feel for air on your cheek
    • If there is no breathing, pinch the victim's nose; make a seal over the victim's mouth with yours. Use a CPR mask if available. Give the victim a breath big enough to make the chest rise. Let the chest fall, and then repeat the rescue breath once more.
  4. Begin chest compressions. Place the heel of your hand in the middle of the victim's chest. Put your other hand on top of the first with your fingers interlaced. Compress the chest about 1-1/2 to 2 inches (4-5 cm). Allow the chest to completely recoil before the next compression. Compress the chest at a rate equal to 100/minute. Perform 30 compressions at this rate.
  5. Repeat rescue breaths. Open the airway with head-tilt, chin-lift again. This time, go directly to rescue breaths without checking for breathing again. Give one breath, making sure the chest rises and falls, then give another.
  6. Perform 30 more chest compressions. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for about two minutes.
  7. Stop compressions and recheck victim for breathing. If the victim is not breathing, continue chest compressions and rescue breaths.
  8. Keep going until help arrives.

Tips:

  1. If you have access to an automated external defibrillator, attach it to the victim after approximately one minute of CPR (chest compressions and rescue breaths).
  2. Chest compressions are extremely important. If you are not comfortable giving rescue breaths, still perform chest compressions!
  3. It's normal to feel pops and snaps when you first begin chest compressions - DON'T STOP! You aren't going to make the victim any worse. Cardiac arrest is as bad as it gets.
  4. When performing chest compressions, do not let your hands bounce. Let the chest fully recoil, but keep the heel of your hand in contact with the sternum at all times.

What You Need:

•    CPR and mouth-to-mouth barrier.

However, it is important to remember that CPR alone is rarely enough for a person to survive. The true purpose of CPR is to keep the heart pumping and the oxygen flowing until emergency care arrives. CPR basically a simple way of saving lives during emergencies! Simply, it is not only for us as a future doctor to practice, but everyone should know this basic life support!

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