CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION “CPR”
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone — untrained bystanders and medical personnel alike — begin CPR with chest compressions.
It’s far better to do something than to do nothing at all if you’re fearful that your knowledge or abilities aren’t 100 percent complete. Remember, the difference between your doing something and doing nothing could be someone’s life.
If you’re not trained in CPR, then provide hands-only CPR. That means uninterrupted chest compressions of about 100 a minute until paramedics arrive (described in more detail below). You don't need to try rescue breathing.
If you are untrained and have immediate access to a phone, call 911 before beginning CPR. The dispatcher can instruct you in the proper procedures until help arrives.
Trained and ready to go.
If you’re well-trained and confident in your ability, begin with chest compressions instead of first checking the airway and doing rescue breathing. Start CPR with 30 chest compressions before checking the airway and giving rescue breaths.
Trained but rusty.
If you’ve previously received CPR training but you›re not confident in your abilities, then just do chest compressions at a rate of about 100 a minute. (Details described below.)
The above advice applies to adults, children and infants needing CPR, but not newborns.
CPR can keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until more definitive medical treatment can restore a normal heart rhythm.
When the heart stops, the lack of oxygenated blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes. A person may die within eight to 10 minutes. To learn CPR properly, take an accredited first-aid training course, including CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Before starting CPR, check: Is the person conscious or unconscious? If the person appears unconscious, tap or shake his or her shoulder and ask loudly, “Are you OK?” If the person doesn’t respond and two people are available, one should call 911 or the local emergency number and one should begin CPR.
If you are alone and have immediate access to a telephone, call 911 before beginning CPR — unless you think the person has become unresponsive because of suffocation (such as from drowning). In this special case, begin CPR for one minute and then call 911 or the local emergency number.
If an AED is immediately available, deliver one shock if instructed by the device, then begin CPR.
Before Giving CPR
Check the scene and the person. Make sure the scene is safe, then tap the person on the shoulder and shout "Are you OK?" to ensure that the person needs help.
Call 911 for assistance. If it's evident that the person needs help, call (or ask a bystander to call) 911, then send someone to get an AED. (If an AED is unavailable, or a there is no bystander to access it, stay with the victim, call 911 and begin administering assistance.)
Open the airway. With the person lying on his or her back, tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin.
Check for breathing. Listen carefully, for no more than 10 seconds, for sounds of breathing. (Occasional gasping sounds do not equate to breathing.) If there is no breathing begin CPR.
Red Cross CPR Steps
Push hard, push fast. Place your hands, one on top of the other, in the middle of the chest. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute.
Deliver rescue breaths. With the person's head tilted back slightly and the chin lifted, pinch the nose shut and place your mouth over the person's mouth to make a complete seal. Blow into the person's mouth to make the chest rise. Deliver two rescue breaths, then continue compressions. Note: If the chest does not rise with the initial rescue breath, re-tilt the head before delivering the second breath. If the chest doesn't rise with the second breath, the person may be choking. After each subsequent set of 30 chest compressions, and before attempting breaths, look for an object and, if seen, remove it.
Continue CPR steps. Keep performing cycles of chest compressions and breathing until the person exhibits signs of life, such as breathing, an AED becomes available, or EMS or a trained medical responder arrives on scene. Note: End the cycles if the scene becomes unsafe or you cannot continue performing CPR due to exhaustion.