Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR is a technique used to maintain the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and other essential organs during a cardiac arrest, drowning, or any other emergency that affects a person's regular breathing pattern. By learning CPR, you gain the power to save a life, and it is crucial to know the critical elements of this essential skill. In this blog post, the leading defibrillator supplier will discuss vital aspects of CPR, including when to perform it, the recommended techniques, the importance of obtaining certification, and common misconceptions surrounding the practice.
When to Perform CPR
It should be performed when someone is unresponsive, not breathing, or only gasping for air. Before administering CPR, it is critical to ensure your safety, assess the situation, and call 000 for professional medical help. If unsure whether someone needs CPR, it is better to err on caution and begin the procedure.
The Recommended Technique
CPR involves chest compressions and rescue breaths. The National Heart Foundation of Australia recommends the following steps for performing CPR on adults:
- Position the person on their back on a firm, flat surface.
- Kneel beside them and place the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest.
- Place your other hand on the first hand, interlocking your fingers.
- Begin chest compressions by pushing hard and fast, at least 2 inches deep, at 100-120 compressions per minute.
- After every 30 compressions, give two rescue breaths by tilting the person's head back, pinching the nose, and breathing into their mouth to create a seal.
- Continue CPR until help arrives or the person shows signs of recovery.
The technique is slightly modified for children and infants to account for their smaller body size and fragility. When CPR on children, use only one hand for compressions and push about 2 inches deep. For infants, use two fingers to compress the chest at a depth of about 1.5 inches.
The Importance of Obtaining Certification
CPR certification is crucial because it ensures you have received the proper training and knowledge to perform CPR effectively. Certified CPR providers are more likely to react confidently in emergencies and be aware of the latest techniques and guidelines. Many organisations, such as the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cardiac Society of Australia, offer CPR certification courses that combine online learning with hands-on practice.
Common Misconceptions About CPR
Myth 1: You can harm someone by performing CPR.
Fact: While it is true that chest compressions can sometimes cause injuries such as rib fractures, it is important to remember that CPR is only administered when a person's life is at risk. Performing CPR can significantly increase their chances of survival, and any potential injuries are far less critical than the consequences of not receiving CPR.
Myth 2: You can contract diseases by giving rescue breaths.
Fact: The risk of contracting diseases during CPR is minimal, and the benefits of providing rescue breaths far outweigh the risks. However, if you are concerned about this issue, use a barrier device such as a face shield or mask when giving rescue breaths.
Myth 3: CPR always results in successful resuscitation.
Fact: Although CPR can increase a person's chances of survival, it does not guarantee a successful outcome. The effectiveness of CPR depends on various factors, such as the cause of cardiac arrest, the timeliness of CPR initiation, and the quality of the compressions and rescue breaths.
CPR is an invaluable tool in emergencies, and its significance cannot be overstated. Although CPR is not a replacement for defibrillators and professional medical help, its use can significantly improve the patient's chances of survival. You need to know how to administer CPR, and for those trained in CPR to act quickly and professionally to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.
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