Parul Sevashram Hospital

A Beginner's Guide to CPR: What You Need to Know

Beginner's Guide to CPR
The sound of sirens fills up the air as an ambulance races towards the hospital, but what happens in those crucial moments before medical professionals arrive? Imagine being in a situation where someone collapses in front of you, unable to breathe. The next few minutes could make all the difference between life and death. That’s where CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, comes in. Whether you’re a healthcare professional or just an everyday person, knowing how to perform CPR can mean the difference between being a bystander and a lifesaver.

What Is CPR Exactly?

CPR, which also stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is a medical technique used to save someone’s life in the event of cardiac arrest or a sudden stoppage of breathing. CPR involves compressing the chest and giving rescue breaths to manually circulate oxygen-rich blood through the body to vital organs like the brain and heart. This can help sustain life until professional medical help arrives. It is a critical skill that can be learned by anyone and can greatly increase the chances of survival for someone experiencing a medical emergency.

The Steps Of Performing CPR

  1. Check for responsiveness:

    The most basic step is to check the person for responsiveness. Gently shake the person and call out their name to see if they respond. If they don’t respond, it’s time to start CPR.
  2. Call for emergency help:

    If you are alone, call emergency services (e.g., 911 in the United States) before starting CPR. If someone else is with you, ask them to call emergency services while you start CPR.
  3. Open the airway:

    Tilt the person’s head back with one of your hands and lift their chin with the other. This will help open their airway.
  4. Check for breathing:

    See, listen, and feel for signs of breathing for no more than 10 seconds. If the person is not breathing or only gasping, start CPR.
  5. Perform chest compressions:

    Keep the heel of one hand on the middle of the person’s chest, right between the nipples. Keep your other hand on top of the first hand and interlock your fingers. Start pressing down on the chest with your body weight, pushing the chest down about 2 inches. Repeat the process about 100 to 120 times per minute or at a rate of 2 compressions per second.
  6. Give rescue breaths:

    After completing 30 compressions, make the person’s head tilted back and lift their chin again. Pinch the person’s nose shut, take a deep breath, and blow into the person’s mouth for about 1 second to make the chest rise. Give two breaths and then continue with compressions.
  7. Continue CPR:

    Alternate between compressions and rescue breaths until emergency services arrive or the person starts breathing on their own. If you become tired, switch with another person if available.
  8. Use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) if available:

    If an AED is available, follow the instructions provided by the device.

Why is CPR Important?

Every year, various people die from cardiac arrest or sudden breathing cessation. CPR can help buy time until emergency medical services arrive, and every minute counts in such situations. The faster CPR is performed, the better the chances of survival. Performing CPR can also help reduce the risk of brain damage by ensuring a steady supply of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. In the absence of CPR, the brain can start to suffer irreparable damage within just a few minutes of cardiac arrest.

Who Can Perform CPR?

Anyone can learn CPR, and it’s a skill that can be taught to children and adults alike. Healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, are required to know CPR and maintain certification. However, CPR certification is not limited to healthcare professionals. Anyone can take a CPR course and become certified.

Do You Perform CPR On Choking Victims?

No, you help someone who is choking by doing the Heimlich manoeuvre, a different technique. A person cannot move air if they are unable to breathe, cough, speak, or cry. The Heimlich manoeuvre must be used to free an object that is obstructing the airway. Only if the victim had lost their pulse and ceased breathing would CPR start.

How To Obtain CPR Certificate?

By passing a CPR training program’s prerequisites, you can become certified in CPR. These courses are accessible online, in person, or as a combination of both. Depending on the style you select (as you can work at your own pace with online training), classes are often finished in two hours. A certificate will be available to you once the course has been successfully completed. Hospitals, community centres, and international groups like the American Red Cross as well as the American Heart Association, all offer CPR training courses. Every CPR course is unique. Both CPR classes for laypeople and CPR classes for medical professionals are available. Make sure a CPR course is accredited before enrolling.

What Are The Benefits Of CPR?

  • Restores Blood Circulation:

    CPR can help restore blood circulation to the heart and brain, preventing brain damage and death.
  • Increases Survival Rate:

    CPR performed within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest can significantly increase the chances of survival.
  • Helps Maintain Oxygen Supply:

    CPR helps maintain the supply of oxygen to vital organs, which is essential to prevent damage and death.
  • Reduces Disability:

    CPR can reduce the risk of disability, as it prevents brain damage and other complicated issues that can result from a lack of oxygen.
  • Boosts Confidence and Preparedness:

    Knowing CPR can help boost confidence and preparedness in emergency situations, as it empowers individuals to take action and potentially save a life.

When To Seek Medical Help

If a patient doesn’t respond to CPR, it is best to consult top hospitals like Parul Sevashram Hospital. It has emerged as the best heart hospital in Vadodara. It is a leading healthcare facility that provides exceptional medical care to its patients. With state-of-the-art infrastructure and a team of highly skilled doctors and healthcare professionals, the hospital is dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to all its patients.  
Written by Parul Sevashram Hospital  |  10 May 2023