Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is a medical emergency procedure performed for people who have difficulty breathing or who experience cardiac arrest. CPR is done by performing chest compressions on the patient.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may come into rescue for all ages – from the elderly, adults, young children, to babies. However, it is necessary to adjust the chest compression pressure on the paediatric (children) patients. This is because children have more fragile bones.
The following are some conditions that require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- Nearly or completely drowned.
- Experience a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
- Use of illegal drugs, alcohol and other substance poisoning.
- Shortness of breath.
How Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Works (CPR)
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is performed by giving chest compressions and rescue breaths. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is designed to pump the heart to get blood circulating and deliver oxygen to all parts of the body.
Pre-Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Works (CPR)
Before performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), make sure the person who needs it is lying down in a safe condition. For example, if someone faints, you should move his or her body first to a safer place. Make sure the person is lying on a firm and level surface as a solid support for the body.
Then, check if the patient is still conscious. If he or she is still a little conscious, make sure you keep talking to the patient to keep them awake. If unconscious, check whether the patient still responds to sounds or when he or she gets a pat on their shoulder.
You should also check the patient’s pulse and heart rate. If there is no pulse present, you may immediately perform the CPR. Make sure you already call in an ambulance.
During Cardiovascular Resuscitation (CPR)
The basic steps for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) consist of ‘C, A, B’:
- Airways, and
This first step is giving chest compressions. First, you may kneel beside the patient’s neck and shoulder. Then, place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand.
Interlock your fingers and then press the chest straight down to 5 to 6 cm, or approximately 100 to 120 times per minute until the patient becomes responsive. Make sure you are pressing not only with your arms, but also using your body weight.
The next step in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is to open the person’s airway. Lift the person’s head, then place your palm on the person’s forehead. Gently lift the person’s chin forward to open the airway.
To tell if this step works, pay attention to the person’s chest movements and listen to breathing sounds such as gasping sounds. If you do not hear anything, place your ear near the mouth or nose to feel or hear any breath.
The next step of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is to provide breathing support. This can be done by pinching the person’s nose first. Then, place your mouth over the person’s mouth and inhale into the person’s mouth. You should also check to see if the person’s chest is rising and falling as if breathing.
You may continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths. However, this step should only be done if you have received CPR training.
If you have not received training, it is best if you stop at the chest compression step. If the person shows any response such as coughing or returning to breathing, immediately stop cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
However, in critical conditions, you may try giving rescue breaths as a form of first aid.
Risks of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be performed in the first three minutes after a person experiences cardiac arrest or difficulty breathing. The first three minutes is vital in CPR.
When cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is performed in the first three minutes, it may help minimise brain damage. However, if CPR is performed later than the first three minutes – the patient may run the risk of suffering from brain damage.