CPR dates back to the 1700’s if not further back. In 1740 CPR i.e. mouth to mouth resuscitation was recommended by the Paris Academy of Sciences for victims who had drowned. The reason why it worked is because it helped deliver the body a fresh dose of oxygen while at the same time the pumping action helped to get water out of the body. Today, CPR is down to a technique that can be taught, learnt and applied by regular people in order to save lives. There are also various types of CPR, and each one is effective in a particular situation. A trained person should be able to identify the situation and then use the right corresponding CPR technique.
CPR for cardiac arrest victims
CPR for cardiac arrest victims mainly begins with a series of chest compressions. These chest compressions are to mainly try and massage the heart into restarting. However, if this does not work initially then an AED will have to be used. An AED that is designed for ordinary people comes with a complete list of instructions. These instructions guide the person through the steps required to place the pads on the right area and then shock the victim. The victim then needs to be given a series of rescue breaths soon after. On the spot or immediate CPR can double the survival chances of a cardiac arrest victim.
CPR for people with asthma
It is important to understand that CPR does not cure people from asthma, it is also not an alternative to regular asthma medication like using a prescribed inhaler. However, CPR can help if the asthma victim’s heart has stopped. Many times victims will collapse because of a lack of oxygen. If the asthma victim does not get enough oxygen after they have been resuscitated their heart will stop again. Also asthma causes the airways to swell shut, which is what makes CPR even more difficult.
The first step to helping an asthma victim is to clear their airways and start with mouth to mouth resuscitation. The airways may have to be opened up using a breathing tube or the breaths will not be effective. That said the sooner the victim gets to a hospital the better their chances of surviving because CPR can just keep them alive for a short amount of time.
CPR for drowning victims
Drowning victims need to get CPR within five minutes of being rescued since with every minute their chances of survival plummets by 10%. Performing CPR within the first five minutes will require that the airways of the victim be cleared. This will require that the jaw-jut technique be used. Then the person’s nose will have to be sealed with the pinch before covering their mouth with yours and blowing. Blow every two seconds. If the chest does not rise during your blowing then you need to check for obstructions in the airways and try again. Also check for a pulse every few seconds.
When CPR is delivered with defibrillation
When simply chest compressions are not good enough defibrillation will need to be used. Defibrillation devices are used to restart the heart’s rhythm via an electric shock. In most domestic or regular use units the shock is within a certain limit just so that the inexperienced non-professional does not end up doing more harm than good. The most common use of these devices is after it’s established that breaths and chest compression is not going to work. Also, this device is best used in cardiac arrest victims or victims that have no pulse.
At times CPR will follow directly after an electric shock has been administered in order to get the heart going. Multiple attempts at restarting the heart will be required in order to help save people on average.
CPR by a paramedic crew
Paramedics have an array of devices and techniques that they use based on what type of victim they are dealing with. Much of the CPR they do involves chest compressions and at time other methods will be used to give the victim a chance to stay alive long enough to get him or her to the nearest hospital. According to HealthCorp these techniques despite being able to save lives requires experience and extensive training but it’s a lot more successful at helping save people than regular CPR.
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Manu Alias is one of the leading experts on CPR training in Australia. He is the author of numerous publications and also teaches CPR to law enforcement and paramedics alike at his office in Sydney. When he is not teaching CPR he is often found mentoring young doctors.