Learn how to perform CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including a heart attack or near drowning, in which someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped. Since heart attack is sudden, and a patient can die within a seconds, then CPR technique matter. It is important for all of us to learn how to perform CPR, because we can serve many lives of our family members and neighbors.

CPR technique is not treatment for heart attack, it is first aid for helping patients with heart attack the moment they are waiting for medical assistance. The disadvantage of this technique is that you can't do on yourself, take a look for someone who is alone and suddenly heart attack occurs, how could such person serve himself/herself?...it is so terrible, such person can die by lacking medical assistance. Luckily there is another method that patients with heart attack can serve themselves when they're alone, the moment they are waiting for medical help or personal assistance. To learn such method CLICK HERE.

Also CPR steps will help to restore blood circulation and oxygen in the body. Early use of an AED, if one is available, can restart a heart with an abnormal rhythm. AED stands for 'automated external defibrillator'

* An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can potentially stop an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Photo: AED

Doing CPR can increase a persons chance of surviving cardiac arrest. Learn these CPR steps you will now know what to do if someone is experiencing a life threatening emergency. Before starting CPR open a persons airway to check if they are breathing (dont begin CPR if a patient is breathing normally). Then, get help. If you are not alone, send someone to call for help as soon as you have checked breathing and have the person confirm the call has been made. While help is on the way, follow these steps to perform CPR.

Step 1: Check for the environment around whether it is safe or not, always check for danger and look for risks before you start helping.

Step 2: Check whether a person is conscious or unconscious, by shaking his shoulders and shouting to him loudly Are you alright?" If the person doesn't respond he is unconscious.

Step 3: Check for normal breathing
A person with heart attack or cardiac arest does not breathe or don't breathe normally and not conscious. Check for normal breathing by looking for the following;

- Listening for breathing
- Check for regular chest movements
- Feeling for breath on your cheek.
*Cheek is the soft skin on each side of the face, below the eyes; the outer surface of the sides of the oral cavity.

CPR 2 flickr photo by MyNasir shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Make sure the time for checking normal breathing do not exceed 10 seconds. Dont confuse gasps with normal breathing. If you are not sure if their breathing is normal, act as if it's not normal.

If you are sure the person is breathing normally, take him to the nearest hospital immediately.

If the person is not breathing at all, then call a medical help or an ambulance before starting CPR.

Step 4: If a person is not breathing, then call for an ambulance or medical help before starting CPR

Step 5: Give 30 chest compressions
Kneel next to the person, then place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest. Place your other hand on top of the first. Interlock your fingers. With straight arms, use the heel of your hand to push the breastbone down firmly and smoothly, so that the chest is pressed down between 5 - 6 cm, and release.

Do this at a rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute (approximately about 2 chest compressions per second)

CPR 006 flickr photo by clooney_97 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Step 6: Give two rescue breaths
Open the airway again by tilting the head back and lifting the chin. Pinch the soft part of the persons nose closed. Take a normal breath, make a seal around their mouth and breathe out steadily.

The persons chest should rise and fall. Keeping the persons head back and the chin lifted, take your mouth away, take another normal breath, and give a second rescue breath. The two breaths should take no longer than five seconds.

Step 7: Repeat until an ambulance arrives

Repeat 30 compressions and two rescue breaths (Place your hands on the chest again and repeat the cycle of 30 chest compressions, followed by two rescue breaths. Continue the cycle.)

Photo: Rescue breaths

If you didn't give rescue breaths then call medical help and deliver hands-only CPR. Thats better than doing nothing. The American Heart Association uses the letters C-A-B (compressions >> airway >> breathing) to help people remember the order to perform the steps of CPR.

Continue on doing CPR until professional help arrives and takes over, or the person starts to show signs of regaining consciousness, such as coughing, opening their eyes, speaking, or breathing normally.

If you are feeling tired, and theres someone nearby to help, instruct them to continue until medical help or an ambulance arrives.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends Hands-Only CPR (CPR without rescue breaths) for people suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. According to the AHA, only about 39 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest get immediate help before professional help arrives; doing Hands-Only CPR may be more comfortable than doing rescue breaths for some bystanders and make it more likely that they take action. The AHA still recommends CPR with compressions and breaths for infants and children and victims of drowning, drug overdose, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.

If you have any opinions about this article feel free to leave your thoughts on the comments section below. Don't miss our future post, See you next time!.

Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo

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