Health & Medical First Aid & Hospitals & Surgery

Basics of CPR

    What Is CPR?

    • CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to someone who has collapsed and stopped breathing. Oftentimes these people are believed to be in cardiac arrest, more commonly known as a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, when a cardiac arrest occurs, the person stops breathing, the heart stops pumping blood and blood circulation comes to a halt. Unfortunately, absence of oxygen rich blood can cause permanent brain damage or death if the person is not restored to normal breathing within eight minutes. CPR can help restore blood circulation and breathing. In fact, CPR is an effective way of stalling death and until the heart starts functioning normally.

    Administering CPR

    • CPR may be required in life threatening emergencies such as fires, near-drowning, accidents, poisoning, smoke inhalation, suffocation, electrocution and suspected Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is best to administer CPR as soon as an incident has occurred. However, you must first ascertain the necessity of given CPR.

      Your first step, before administering CPR is to check if the victim is conscious. Look for an eye opening, arm or leg movement, or listen for a sound from the mouth. You can also shake the victim by the shoulder and listen for a response. If you are dealing with an infant or a small child, you should try rubbing their chest to check for responsiveness.

      Next, find out if the person is breathing. This is done by watching the chest for a rise and fall. Tilt the victim's head back and listen for the sound of air going in and out through the mouth. If you can not detect breathing, immediately start giving CPR and carry on until help arrives.

      Begin administering CPR by pinching the nose and cover the victim's mouth with yours. Next, blow into his mouth, like you would blow up a balloon, until you see the chest rise. Give two breaths that last for at least one second each.

      If normal breathing still does not resume, begin chest compressions. Place your hands in the center of the victim's chest, between the nipples. Push down, in a pumping motion, on the chest 30 times at one second per pump. If breathing remains absent even after the first set of chest compressions, continue with two breaths and 30 pumps until help arrives.

      In case you are alone and administering CPR to an infant or a child, you should give 5 cycles of chest compressions before calling for help.

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