CPR stands for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. This involves the giving if life giving breaths and a series of external chest compression to person who has no breathing and no pulse. Often, CPR is associated with medical emergencies such as heart attack, drowning, chocking. It should be noted however that CPR is applicable to any situation where in the victim or patient has no breathing and no signs of life The Chain of Survival
The chain of survival involves a series of procedures that a first aider or responder should do to increase the chances of the victim’s survival. The four links of the chain are as follows: 1. Early Access- immediately call for an ambulance or the EMS to insure that equipments such as the AED and lifesaving medications will be brought to the scene. 2. Early CPR- providing life saving breaths and external chest compression helps prevent brain damage. 3. Early Defibrillation- it has been noted that for every minute that defibrillation is not given there is a 10% decrease on the patients survival. So and so that and Automated External Defibrillator has been introduced to the public. 4. Early Advance Care- providing advance cardiac life support procedures as well as cardiac medications to the victim. When to start CPR
When person stops breathing and heart stops pumping, brain damage will occur in about 4 minutes. Thus, CPR should be started immediately when the following conditions are observed on the victim. * The victim is unconscious
* The victim has no breathing
* The victim has no signs of life ( no pulse)
Assessment should be done in a systematic manner to insure that CPR can be given in the most reasonable time to increase the chances of survival. For people with medical background, checking of pulse is necessary. The pulse can be checked on the carotid area. However, for layperson, checking for signs of life such as coughing, movement, eye opening is enough. When not to do CPR
Although we have mentioned that CPR is done when the above situation exists, there are also situations that CPR should not be applied anymore. Here are the following: 1. Rigor Mortis
- this is a condition where the body is stiff already. This condition occurs when the person died and several hours has elapsed already. 2. Livor Mortis
- commonly known as lividity. When the heart stops pumping due to cardiac arrest, the blood does not circulate anymore and blood is pulled by gravity. This condition can be observed by looking at the body of the victim. Half of the patients body which is near the ground will be somewhat bluish, this indicates that blood has been pulled by gravity to the ground. The upper half will be pale. 3. Crushed head or skull
- if the victims head or skull is crushed by 50% or more, CPR is not necessarily applied. 4. Decapitated head or body
- if the head has been has been separated or the body is cut in half, clearly the victim is beyond recovery 5. Decomposition
- when the body is decomposing already, this is a sign of certain death and CPR is no longer necessary. 6. DNR
– this are actually legal orders from a physician. This means, Do Not Resuscitate. In some cases, the patient has requested for a do not resuscitate order. Basically this is a lawful and binding order.
The author demonstrating CPR to employees of Taj Resort, Mali, Republic of Maldives What are the steps in CPR
CPR involves the giving of breaths and chest compression when the person has ceased breathing and when the heart stops pumping. Exhaled air still contains enough oxygen that can sustain life to a person on respiratory arrest. External chest compression will enable the heart to pump and circulate blood which carries the oxygen to the body tissues and organs which are essential for survival. Giving breath alone to a cardiac arrest victim does not deliver oxygen to the brain. In doing CPR...