In an emergency, if someone is not breathing regularly or their heart has stopped, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is performed (cardiac arrest). Until specialised care is available, CPR helps keep the blood circulating and supplies oxygen to the body. Unless CPR is performed, there is generally still enough oxygen in the blood to support the brain and other vital organs for a few minutes.
Understanding basic emergency first aid and CPR is crucial because it can save lives. The following strategies are utilised in case of an emergency.
- Chest compressions
- Rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth).
How do you perform CPR on an adult or older child?
Within a time frame of around two minutes, try to complete 5 sets of 30 chest compressions. If you are unable to perform mouth-to-mouth compressions, continue performing continuous compressions at a rate of about 100 per minute.
The heart is unable to pump blood to the rest of the body during cardiac arrest, including the brain and lungs. Without medical care, death can occur within minutes. CPR imitates the heart’s pumping action by using chest compressions. These compressions support the body’s natural blood circulation.
Watch the video posted on Twitter by “How Things Work" to see what happens within the human body during CPR.
What happens inside the body when CPR is applied. pic.twitter.com/X4M319O7sJ— H0W_THlNGS_W0RK (@wowinteresting8) August 12, 2022
Steps to follow while performing chest compressions:
- One hand’s heel on the person’s breastbone in the lower part (in the middle of their chest).
- Grab your wrist with your other hand while putting it on top of your bottom hand. Alternatively, if it seems more comfortable, you could wish to interlock your fingers.
- Press down on their chest by a third of the depth of their chest while keeping your arms straight.
- It counts as one compression when you release the pressure.
- The person starts to react. They might start moving, breathing regularly, coughing, or speaking. Place them in the recovery position after that (onto their side).
- The paramedics take over when the ambulance arrives.
- CPR can be exhausting. Ask someone else to help you out with the least amount of disruption if you need a break.
- Change who is applying the compressions every two minutes.
Can performing chest compressions be risky?
Chest compressions can occasionally break someone’s ribs. Still, receiving CPR is a better option than not doing so. If this happens, stop, adjust your hands, and then resume working, or have someone else take over. If mouth-to-mouth is challenging for you, keep applying chest compressions until emergency aid arrives. They are still capable of saving lives.
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