What Is CPR in First Aid

What is CPR in First Aid Image

What Is CPR In First Aid

CPR means Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. When a person’s heart suddenly stops beating, a lifesaving emergency procedure done to make the heart come alive or work again is known as CPR. An immediate CPR  performed within the first six minutes can double or even triple chances of survival pending the arrival of advanced help.

CPR comprises of 2 skills;

  • Providing compressions
  • Giving breaths

Any trained person can carry out CPR. In providing CPR, you give sets of  30 compressions and 2 breaths.

Why CPR In First Aid is Important

According to World Health Organization(WHO) publication, 17.9 million of people die each year from cardiovascular diseases CVDs, an estimated 32% of all deaths worldwide. Cardiovascular Diseases CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions. More than four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and one third of these deaths occur prematurely in people under 70 years of age.

Sudden heart attack or cardiac arrest is still one of the leading causes of death in the United States and even in Nigeria, there has been an increase in the number of cases of these CVDs.

Survival from cardiac arrest or heart attack can be increased or improved by early recognition and CPR. Every second counts in cardiac arrest. If so many individuals get the CPR skills, so many pre-matured deaths associated with the heart will be mitigated. CPR can be used for so many health emergencies like Choking, Drowning, Electrocution, Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest, Stroke, Seizure, Breathing problems, Fainting, among others.

CPR adequately causes blood and oxygen to flow to the brain and other vital organs thereby giving  the victim a chance for survival. Basic CPR knowledge and first aid are indispensable because it gives you the opportunity to help someone and save a life in cases of emergency until advanced help arrives. You never know when an emergency will occur and who will be affected, so this is why it is important to get the CPR skills and get prepared in case the unexpected happens. Don’t say ‘God Forbid’ Its not my portion” because  it can happen to anybody.

How To Perform CPR in First Aid

Access the scene

First and foremost ensure that the scene is safe before providing help. You can’t provide help if you are hurt in the process. Some emergency sites can be unsafe. 

Check if the person is responsive or unresponsive

Get close to the person, tap him and shout “Are you OK? Are you OK?

If the person is responsive;

shout for help and phone your local emergency number. Stay with him if he is breathing normally until advanced help arrives. You can also check for injuries and medical information jewelry as it reveals if the person has a serious medical condition.

If the person is unresponsive;

check for breathing, if the person is not breathing normally or  only gasping ,begin CPR and use an AED if it is available. An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It’s a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.   

But where an AED is not readily available, immediately apply chest compressions.

An AED Machine In Use Image

Apply CPR using chest compressions and mouth to mouth breathing for trained first responders. The act of pushing hard and fast on the chest is known as Compression. Blood is pumped  to the brain and heart when you push on the chest. To achieve high quality compressions, it should be deep and fast as well. Allow the chest come back to its normal position after each compression.

Chest Compressions image

How to Provide Chest Compressions for an Adult during CPR

  • Ensure that the person is lying on his back on a firm , flat surface.
  • Move clothes out of the way
  • With the heel of one hand at the center of the chest and the other hand on top of the first hand, push straight down at least 2inches
  • Push at the rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. You can take turns to provide CPR if there is someone else at the emergency scene that knows how to do it. 
  • Allow the chest come back to its normal position after each compression.

Giving Breaths is the second skill in CPR. Give 2 breaths after each set of 30 compressions.  A good breath is achieved when you see the chest rise. Make sure you Open the airway before giving breaths.

How to open the Airway when performing CPR in First Aid

How To Open The Airway image

With the fingers of one hand on the bony part of the chin, , put the other hand on the forehead and tilt the head back and lift the chin. This practice releases the tongue from the back of the throat and allows air into the lungs. Barrier devices such as a pocket mask may be used to give breaths. These devices which are made of plastic shields the First Responder from blood, vomit or disease. You can also read more on Who Is a First Responder In Emergency article on my site.

Using  pocket mask to give breath

Giving Breaths With Pocket Mask image

After putting the mask over the person’s mouth and nose, make sure that the wide end covers the mouth to make a seal and the narrow end at the bridge of the nose. Tilt the head and lift the chin while pressing the mask against the person’s face. Give 2 breaths, each lasting for about 1 second and watch for the chest to begin to rise as you give each breath.

Giving Breath Without Pocket Mask

Giving Breaths Without Pocket Mask Image

Follow the  steps below if you choose to give breaths without a pocket mask. Pinch the nose closed with your thumb and forefinger while holding the airway open. Cover the person’s mouth with your mouth and give 2 breaths, each lasting for about for 1 second and watch for the chest to begin to rise as you give each breath.

Continue to give 30 chest compressions with 2 breaths until the person begins to breath or until advanced help arrives. Help the person to lie on his side gently if he begins to breathe until medical help arrives.

Combining CPR with AED provides the best opportunity of saving a life. AED stands for Automated External Defibrillators. They are easy to use, portable , lightweight devices that can detect an abnormal cardiac rhythm and if needed provides a shock that will convert the rhythm back to normal. To get a detailed training on how to perform CPR in first aid visit this site www.hei.org.ng

Author Profile

Paschal Achunine
Paschal Achunine
Paschal Achunine Is the founder of Health Emergency Initiative(HEI) for Indigent patients. HEI stands as next -of-kin to indigent patients in public hospitals and also for road accident victims.

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