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What does CPR stand for and how do you perform it? 

What does CPR stand for and how do you perform it?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a procedure for helping someone who has suffered from cardiac arrest. It’s when someone performs chest compressions on a person in cardiac arrest in order to keep them alive until help arrives. If you witness someone having a heart attack, call 999 and begin CPR right away. To be prepared for that day, start learning CPR as soon as possible.

Why is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) necessary when someone has entered cardiac arrest?

A cardiac arrest is a critical situation. When the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and it ceases to pump blood, it is known as a cardiac arrest. The brain does not receive adequate oxygen when your heart stops pumping blood. It renders the person unconscious and stops breathing. Without CPR, the individual would perish in minutes without emergency medical care being provided.

Only do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if it’s absolutely necessary, as it may have serious consequences. This is when the following:

  • unconscious and not breathing
  • unconscious and not breathing properly.

If a person is breathing normally but is unconscious, call 999 and place them in the recovery position.

What if the heart is still beating but they are not breathing?

This is called a respiratory stop, and it will soon progress to a cardiac arrest without CPR. Don’t waste time searching for a pulse if someone is unconscious and not breathing or not breathing normally; instead, call 999 and begin CPR.

The steps of CPR

Shake and shout

Always check for hazards before assisting someone who is unconscious.

A patient who has suffered a cardiac arrest will either not be breathing or will be unable to breathe normally. They won’t be awake, either.

Check for a response – Gently shake the person’s shoulders and ask loudly, “Are you okay?” 

Shout for assistance – If someone is close by, ask them to wait with you. Shout loudly to attract attention if you are alone, but do not desert the individual.

Call 999

If someone is not breathing or is having trouble breathing, call 999 and request an ambulance. Call for a public access defibrillator (PAD). 

If no one is available, start compressions before calling 999.

Give chest compressions 

  • Kneel down next to the individual.
  • Place one hand on top of the other and leave the heel of one in their chest. With your other hand, put it on top of the first. Interlock your fingers.
  • With your elbows straight, push the breastbone down strongly and smoothly with your hand heel, pushing the chest down by 5–6 cm
  • To do 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute, or around 2 per second, count “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees as you perform them. We recommend that patients think of the song Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees while performing CPR.

Keep going

  • Continue to vomit until the person is taken to a hospital by emergency medical services (EMS), or they show indications of regaining consciousness, such as coughing, opening their eyes, speaking, and breathing normally.
  • If you’re exhausted and someone nearby can help, request that they take over providing CPR. You may show them how to do it and rotate turns until the authorities arrive.

Use a defibrillator

  • As soon as a defibrillator is located, turn it on and follow the clear instructions provided.
  • The defibrillator will determine whether a shock is required and, if so, will instruct you to press the shock button. Without fail, an automatic defibrillator will administer a jolt to the patient. While they are being shocked, don’t touch them.

If you want to find out more about the importance of CPR, take a look at CBAT.

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