If you have ever known a loved one that had a heart attack, you have probably wanted to turn back time and change what happened. If you ever see someone experience cardiac arrest, you want to be prepared. Knowing what to do when the heart has stopped is essential. Be ready for action. You could make the difference between life an death with the simple tool of CPR.
The basics of CPR
CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, can be performed by anyone who has a working knowledge of what to do. It is intended for a victim of cardiac arrest where the heart and breathing has stopped. Manual chest compressions, or pumping on the chest, are performed. The goal is to perform one hundred compressions in a minute. Time is of the essence, pumping the chest and alternating with giving the victim artificial respiration or a breath of air. CPR is an attempt to keep oxygen flowing to the brain and massage the heart until emergency medical attention arrives. While CPR most likely will not restart the heart, the immediate efforts can make all the difference so that when paramedics or doctors perform defibrillator through electric shock in order to jump-start the heart. By pumping the chest and providing artificial inspiration, with a stress on the chest compressions, brain damage can be avoided if blood is manually pumped through the heart.
CPR in three simple steps
If you follow three easy steps, you can perform CPR:
- *If someone has stopped breathing or breathing has become abnormal to the point of nearly stopping and it is not due to choking, CPR is the path of action. Call for emergency medical assistance or 911 and then prepare to provide assistance. You can attempt to find a pulse by pressing against the side of the neck or the pulse point in the wrist but this may be difficult if you are not trained. It is much easier to know if someone has stopped breathing.
- *If you have called for help and the person has stopped breathing, and there is no movement or coughing, begin pumping the chest with chest compressions. Use two hands for an adult, one for a child. You should push down on the center of the chest, between the ribs, two inches down at the rate of thirty fast pumps before giving a breath with a goal of 100 pumps in a minute. For a child, you will not press down as hard or as far to avoid damage.
- *In between fast hard pumps of thirty, it is time to give artificial respiration. Put one hand under the victim’s neck as you tilt the head back and lift up the chin. Pinch the nose shut and cover the victim’s mouth with yours to blow until the chest rises. Do this two times and go back to pumps.
You’ll keep doing thirty fast pumps and two breaths until help arrives. It is best to receive a course in CPR training, with many opportunities online, so you will be better prepared. Trained or no, you can make a difference and save someone today.