What is CPR?
CPR, also known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is commonly used in emergencies when a person has stopped breathing or if a person no longer has a heartbeat. In the event that a person stops breathing, they are at risk of serious brain damage or even death. In fact, a person who has stopped breathing may die within 8 to 10 minutes.
This life-saving technique can keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs in the event that medical equipment is unavailable.
Why Do I Need to Learn CPR?
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death all over the globe. This means that many people are at risk of having a cardiac arrest somewhere outside of a hospital. People who suffer from cardiac arrest outside of hospitals can be saved by someone who knows how to perform CPR, and that someone could be you.
Emergency Scenario: What Do I Do?
If you ever catch yourself in an emergency situation where a person is badly hurt or in need of CPR, try to stay calm and keep your bearings. Focus on the task at hand and try to keep your head straight.
Before performing CPR, make sure to:
- Assess the situation. Are you and the victim/ casualty still in immediate danger? Try to move away from the scene of the accident where you will be safe and away from harm.
- If the person is unconscious, try to wake them up by shaking or tapping their shoulder. Talk to them and ask questions to encourage a response.
- If the person remains unresponsive, ask someone nearby to call an ambulance while you or someone performs CPR on the person.
Remember the letters CAB, which stands for “Circulation, Airway, Breathing.” This is the sequence in which to proceed when assessing the situation and casualty.
Short gasps for air shouldn’t be considered regular breathing. Any anomalies in the way the person breathes should be a sign to start CPR as soon as possible.
Clear the victim’s airway by placing them on their back, and tilting the head by gently pushing on the forehead and lifting the chin. This makes sure that the tongue stays away from the back of the throat.