When someone’s heart or breathing stops, it can be a matter of life and death. In situations like this, immediate action is necessary, and one such action is performing CPR. CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a lifesaving technique that helps restore the function of the heart and lungs. In this article, we will delve deeper into CPR, its purpose, and how to perform it.
What is CPR?
CPR is a medical procedure that involves chest compressions and rescue breaths to improve blood flow and oxygenation to vital organs during cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. CPR aims to provide enough blood and oxygen to the brain until emergency services arrive or until the person's heart starts beating again.
Why do you need to perform CPR?
CPR is performed in emergency situations where someone has stopped breathing or their heart has stopped beating. Some reasons why someone might experience cardiac arrest include heart attack, trauma, drowning, choking, and drug overdose. Performing CPR immediately can help keep vital organs, such as the brain, alive until emergency services arrive, improving the person's likelihood of survival.
How to perform CPR
Before performing CPR, you should check if the person is responsive and breathing. If they are not responding or breathing, then immediately call emergency services. While you wait for the ambulance, begin CPR by following these steps.
- Lay the person on a flat surface with their back on the ground.
- Place the heel of your hand at the center of their chest, and place the other hand on top of the first hand.
- Keep your elbows straight and use your upper body weight to press down on the chest about 5-6cm deep.
- Give 30 compressions at the rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
- After 30 compressions, tilt the head back and lift the chin to open the airway.
- Pinch their nostrils together and give two rescue breaths.
- Continue giving 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths until emergency services arrive or until the person begins breathing on their own.
Risks and precautions while performing CPR
CPR is a life-saving procedure that can have some risks if not performed correctly. Some things to keep in mind when performing CPR include:
- Avoid tilting the head too far back or tilting the head incorrectly as it can cause the backward flow of stomach contents into the lungs.
- Avoid excessive force while giving chest compressions as it can cause broken ribs or other injuries.
- Wear gloves and use a barrier device to protect yourself from bodily fluids.
- If you are feeling tired or light-headed, take breaks and switch roles with another person.
CPR is an important and life-saving technique used during emergencies where someone has stopped breathing or their heart has stopped beating. Knowing how to perform CPR can make a significant difference in someone's survival rate. Remember, before performing CPR, always call for emergency services first and follow the correct steps while giving chest compressions and rescue breaths.