Knowing how to handle an emergency is helpful, especially if it involves a loved one. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be daunting, but online healthcare CPR courses make it easy to learn. If you’re interested in learning more about how to do CPR and its benefits of it, take a look at this guide to help you prepare for the unexpected.
Assess the situation
CPR can help keep someone alive until paramedics arrive when they are in cardiac arrest. But it’s important to assess each situation with care and ensure it calls for CPR. The first step is to check for responsiveness. Tap the person on the shoulder and ask if they’re okay. Next, look for signs of breathing. Watch for chest movement and listen for breathing sounds. If the person doesn’t respond, shake them gently and call their name. If the person is not breathing and you can’t find a pulse, it’s time to start CPR.
Once you assess the situation and conclude that the victim needs CPR, check their mouth for any foreign objects. Getting it out as soon as possible is crucial if the person is choking on something. You don’t want to perform CPR if the victim is already deceased, has no pulse, or has a serious head or spinal injury. You’ll also want to tread carefully if the victim is pregnant or if they’re a child. Both situations require special CPR training, so it may be better to wait for an ambulance if you’re unsure how to handle it.
Perform chest compressions
Chest compressions keep the blood flowing to the brain and heart. To do chest compressions, place the heel of one hand on the center of the victim’s chest, then place your other hand on top of the first hand. Try to keep your elbows straight and use your body weight to push straight down on the victim’s chest. You’ll need to push hard and fast to help you maintain a steady rhythm of 100 to 120 beats per minute. Take a break every minute and start again. If you get tired, switch with another rescuer. It’s vital to ensure you don’t perform CPR if you’re not trained. However, if no one around you is certified, follow these steps closely to prevent complications.
Give rescue breaths.
Rescue breaths, also known as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, are an important part of CPR. The American Heart Association recommends giving two rescue breaths after every thirty chest compressions. This helps to keep the victim’s airway open and circulate oxygen to the brain. To give a rescue breath, pinch the victim’s nose shut, place your mouth over their mouth, give one long breath, and watch for the chest to rise. If it does not rise, give another breath until it does, then resume the process.
Use an AED
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that delivers an electric shock to the heart to restart it. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which is a condition in which the heart stops beating. When someone experiences SCA, their body will quickly lose consciousness and stop breathing. If not treated immediately, death will likely occur within minutes. If you know how to use an AED, administer the electric shocks directly. If the person begins breathing again, wait for an ambulance to arrive and assess the victim’s state. Remember that an AED should only be used on individuals who are not breathing and have no pulse. An AED should also be used in conjunction with CPR.
CPR is one of the most important things you can learn. It can help save a life in a matter of minutes. When someone’s heart stops beating, CPR can help get it started again. If you want to learn CPR, check out a local course and get certified.