A guide to performing CPR in an emergency

CPR is a procedure that combines with cardiac compressions to provide oxygen and artificial circulation to an unconscious individual until medical assistance arrives. It is a life-saving first aid procedure that enhances a person’s chances of survival if performed as soon as the heart stops pumping.

“If CPR is not given, the person may become brain dead in three to four minutes owing to a lack of oxygen. While you wait for an ambulance, you may keep the brain and other organs alive by administering CPR. Although there is generally enough oxygen in the blood to keep the brain and other organs alive for a few minutes, it does not circulate until CPR is performed. Some of the causes for cardiac arrest in adults are heart disease, trauma, respiratory illness, and hanging. In children, its due to SIDS, cardiac disease, trauma, respiratory illness,” explained Dr Mohammed Imran Soherwardi, Consultant – Emergency Medicine, Aster RV Hospital.

CPR is an extremely useful technique to know. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

When to use CPR

CPR is required if an adult isn’t breathing at all due to a cardiac arrest or heart attack, choking, a vehicle accident, near-drowning, asphyxia, poisoning, a drug or alcohol overdose, smoke inhalation, electrocution, or suspected sudden infant death syndrome and when a child or new born isn’t breathing regularly. If an adult or kid does not reply when you speak to them or touch them on the shoulder, immediate CPR must be done, he said.

Steps to perform CPR on infants and children:

Contact an ambulance, and if CPR is required, it should be done while the ambulance is on its way.

Place them on their backs to allow their airways to open- Kneel beside the kid or infant’s chest and delicately place them on their back. Lift their chin and tilt their head backwards slightly. Their mouth should be open. Look for any blockages, such as food or vomit. Remove it if it is loose. Do not touch it if it is not loose, since this may drive it farther into their airways.

Look for signs of breathing- Listen for around 10 seconds with your ear near to their mouth. Start CPR if you don’t hear breathing or only hear gasps every now and then.

Changes in an infant’s breathing patterns are typical since they breathe on a regular basis. Maintain a close eye on their respiration and provide CPR if they stop breathing.

Perform two rescue breaths- If the child or infant isn’t breathing, take two rescue breaths with their head tilted back and chin lifted. Pinch their nose tight and press your mouth over theirs. Breathe through their mouth twice. Place your mouth over an infant’s nose and mouth and blow for 1 second cause the chest to rise. Take two rescue breaths after that. Continue chest compressions if they are still unresponsive.

Perform 30 chest compressions- Use one of your hands to assist a kid. Place the heel of your hand between and just below their nipples, on their sternum, which is at the middle of the chest. At least 100 times per minute, press down firmly and quickly approximately 2 inches deep, or one-third the chest depth. For an infant use two fingers. Put your fingers between and just below the nipples in the middle of their chest. Compress 30 times in a row at a depth of 1.5 inches.

Repeat the rescue breathing and chest compressions cycle until the kid breathes on his or her own or until help comes.

Steps to perform CPR on adults:

Place your heel on the person’s breastbone in the centre of their chest. Interlock your fingers with your second hand on top of your first.

Make sure your shoulders are higher than your hands.

Press straight down on their chest for 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) using your whole weight (not just your arms).

Release the compression and let the chest to return to its natural position while keeping your hands on their chest.

Rep at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions each minute until an ambulance comes.

CPR with rescue breaths:

Press down 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) at a constant speed of 100 to 120 compressions per minute with one hand’s heel on the person’s chest, then the other on top. After every 30 chest compressions, take two rescue breaths.

Gently tilt the victim’s head back and lift the chin with two fingers. Pinch the person’s nose. Seal your mouth over theirs for about 1 second, blowing steadily and firmly into their mouth. Make sure their chest rises. Take two rescue breaths. Continue doing 30 chest compressions and

2 rescue breaths in a cycle until they start to feel better or emergency aid comes.

CPR is a vital first-aid procedure that can save a person’s life. It can significantly increase someone’s chances of survival if they have a heart attack or stop breathing as a result of an accident or trauma. The procedures differ depending on whether the person is an infant, a child, or an adult. Use CPR only if an adult has stopped breathing. Before beginning CPR, check to see if the person responds to verbal or physical stimuli.

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