Are you a caregiver? This article will guide you about CPR, which can increase the survival rate of your patient during a cardiac arrest.
Your heart is the most important organ of your body. It pumps oxygenated blood to every cell of your body. But when sudden cardiac arrest occurs, it disrupts your heart’s functions and stops the blood from flowing to your body. It can lead to death if not treated within a few minutes.
Permanent brain damage starts after 4 minutes of cardiac arrest, and death can occur 4-6 minutes later. So, every moment is critical when a victim gets affected by cardiac arrest.
Every year at least 350,000 people have a cardiac arrest outside the hospital, i.e., at home or in public places, and unfortunately, among them, 90 percent do not survive. It’s estimated that 45 percent of people who have cardiac arrest can survive if CPR with a defibrillator is given at the proper time.
If you are the caregiver of an older adult or any person who is known to have cardiovascular problems, then it’s better to know everything about CPR so that you can save the life of your loved one in an emergency.
This article will guide you on everything about CPR, which can help you in emergencies. Read on to get the knowledge.
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What Is CPR?
CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a life-saving technique that aims to keep blood and oxygen flowing through all the body’s vital organs when your patient’s heart and breathing stops. CPR is most often used either after a cardiac arrest or when a person stops breathing due to drowning.
The American heart association says that CPR can double or triple the chances of survival rate after cardiac arrest of your patient. CPR helps keep the heart active until the health care professional arrives.
However, the steps of CPR vary according to the type of person you care for. For instance, if you are caring for an older adult, then you need to give chest compression with two hands, whereas if you’re a caregiver of a child, then the chest compression needs to be done with one hand. For infants, you have to use your thumb or fingers.
Why Should I Learn CPR?
#1. Save Life
Cardiac arrest is fatal. Emergency services may take a long time to arrive, increasing the chances of death. But if you know CPR, then you can help a person survive.
#2. Boost Confidence
Knowing CPR skills will increase your confidence level, and you can make the right decisions in a cardiac emergency.
#3. Earn Respect
Knowing CPR or life-saving skills will help you to earn respect in society. People may call upon you to save the life of someone in an emergency.
Types Of CPR
There are mainly two types of CPR, and both techniques can save your patient’s life.
#1. Hands-Only CPR
In this process, you have to push your patient’s chest in rapid motion. The movements are known as chest compressions. The compression helps in two ways.
- It moves the oxygenated blood to the brain to keep it alive.
- It keeps the blood and oxygen moving to the heart’s muscles so that it has the best chance of starting normal electrical rhythm after a shock is delivered.
Whenever you start compressing your patient’s chest, you are doing the work of the heart manually. Each good compression helps build pressure inside your patient’s system that helps move the blood both to the brain and heart muscles.
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It will take time to move the blood through CPR. So you need to push hard and quickly to build the pressure up, which keeps the blood flowing to the brain. Your patient’s chest should come back to its original position after every pushdown.
Remember, if your patient is an older adult, you need to push the chest at least 2 inches down so that the heart will squeeze and allow the blood to flow to the brain. You need to perform chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 times per minute is necessary for blood pumping.
If you have not taken CPR training or learned it a few years back, then it’s best to use the hands-only CPR method at the time of an emergency to save the life of your patient.
#2. Traditional CPR with breaths
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or CPR with breaths is a process in which you have to blow the air into your patient’s mouth. This method is appropriate for adults, infants, and children.
The American heart association(AHA) revised the CPR guidelines in 2010 and recommends that you first perform chest compressions on a patient before opening the airway.
But the earlier model was a bit different. The old model was airway followed by breathing and compressions(ABC). But since 2010, it has changed to compression followed by airway and breathing(CAB).
AHA released another guideline in 2020 and recommended that if your patient has a cardiac arrest, you need to start CPR immediately without waiting. This is because there is still oxygen in the lungs and blood of your patient in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest. So beginning chest compressions can help send the oxygen to the brain and heart without any delay.
Rescue breaths and compression are essential for infants under the age of one and children. If you are a trained CPR expert, you can give two rescue breaths after every 30 compressions as this helps provide more oxygen to your patient.
Remember, if you are not trained or not comfortable with mouth breaths, then it’s better to continue hand compression until either the health professional arrives or your patient starts breathing normally.
What Are The Steps For performing Hands-Only CPR?
I am listing here seven steps that you need to perform while performing hands-only CPR on your patient.
#1. Check The Responsiveness Of Your patient
You need to tap your patient’s shoulder and ask, are you all right?
#2. Take Immediate Help If Your Patient Is Not Responsive
You need to call an ambulance or local emergency services when you find your patient is not responding.
#3. Place Your Patient On Flat Surface
Place your patient on a flat surface so that you can start chest compressions.
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#4. Check The Heart Of Your Patient With Automated External Defibrillator(AED)
The AED gives you detailed instructions about how to check pulse and breathing and how to place electrode pads on the chest of your patient.
The AED automatically measures the rhythm of the heart of your patient and determines whether a shock is needed.
If needed, the patient will instruct you to push the button to deliver the shock to the patient.
You can start chest compressions immediately if AED is not there at home.
#5. Hand Position
You need to place the heel of one of your hands on the center of your patient’s chest. Then put your other hand on top of the first hand and interlock the fingers.
You have to raise the fingers slightly so that the heel of your hands will be on the chest area. Remember to start the above procedure only if you are caregiving as an adult.
#6. Start Compressions
You need to use your upper body to push down your patient’s chest. Try to perform compression at a rate of 100-120 times per minute. Allow the chest of your patient to recoil in between two compressions.
#7. Continue Compression
You need to continue compressing your patient’s chest until the medical help arrives. If your patient starts breathing, lie them on a flat surface quietly until the doctor arrives.
What Are the Steps For Performing CPR With Breaths In Teen And Adults?
#1. Compress The Chest
Place your patient on a flat surface and then compress the chest 30 times.
You need to gently tilt the head of your patient’s back and use one of your hands to lift the chin up. Then keep the mouth of your patient open by using your thumb.
#3. Give Rescue Breaths
Pinch the nose of your patient by using your thumb and index finger. Then cover your patient’s mouth with your mouth and start blowing air in the mouth.
Your patient’s chest should rise while blowing air into the mouth and will sink when you move away. You should give two rescue breaths, and each should last for one second.
You can also use a CPR face mask to seal your patient’s mouth.
#4. Alternate Rescue Breaths With Chest Compression
You need to alternate 30 compressions with two rescue breaths till the patient breaths normally or a health professional arrives.
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Training Of CPR And AED
Various nonprofit organizations provide AED and CPR training. If you are not trained in CPR, it’s better to join a reputed organization like The American Red Cross, which offers training both for CPR and AED.
Sudden cardiac arrests occur when the heart starts pumping irregularly. It mainly begins in the heart’s lower chambers, i.e., in the ventricles. Few minutes after the cardiac arrest is quite crucial for the patient’s life.
If you are a caregiver, then it’s better to take training on CPR and AED so that so. You can increase the survival rate of your patient if cardiac arrest occurs.
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