It’s a known fact that heart disease is a leading cause of death in adults (Learn CPR, 1). Basically, in cardiac arrest “the heart goes from a normal heartbeat to a quivering rhythm called ventricular fibrillation,” or VF, and can be fatal unless CPR is used( Learn CPR, 1).
CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CPR is used on victims of heart attack, stroke, choking, and cardiac arrest. CPR feeds the victim’s body with oxygen and keeps their internal organs alive, until professional help is available. If used properly, it almost doubles a victim’s survival rate (Learn CPR, 1).
The first traces of CPR were discovered in the Bible. Mainly, CPR was used on infants and children by their parents (Learn CPR, 1). Not until the late 1950’s did two doctors rediscover the process. Drs. James Elam and Peter Safar brought back the use of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (Learn CPR, 1). Chest compression was first used in 1960. “Drs. Kouwenhoven, Knickerbocker, and Jude discovered the benefit of chest compression to achieve a small amount of artificial circulation.” (Learn CPR, 1). Mouth-to-mouth and chest compression were later combined into one process. We practically use the same process today.
No equipment is necessary for performing CPR on a person. If you do not want to be in direct contact with the victim’s mouth, you can buy a plastic mask or cover that still lets air pass through. If learning CPR, you will need a dummy, or ‘Annie doll’, as they are commonly called.
The basic instructions for CPR on adults (persons seven and older) can be broken down into three steps. These are called the ABC’s of CPR.
The A stands for airway (Cardio…,1). If a victim passes out, lay them down on the floor and quickly try to wake them up by shouting or shaking them. If there is no response send someone to call 911. If you are alone, still call for help, even if it means leaving the victim. Next, tilt their head back while grabbing their chin to open the airway (Cardio…,1).
The B stands for breathing (Cardio…,1). Put your ear up to the victims nose and mouth and take 10 seconds to listen for breathing and watch for movement. If there is no breathing, begin mouth-to-mouth. Pinch or block their nostrils with your fingers and blow two long breaths into their mouth, about five seconds apart. Make sure victim’s head is still tilted back (Cardio…,1).
The C stands for circulation (Cardio…,1). Lock one hand directly over your other and place in the middle of the person’s chest, a little below their breast bone. Do 15 quick and sharp compressions. These should be faster than one per second (Cardio…,1). After finishing the set, repeat the two breaths into their mouth; always checking for breathing afterwards. Keep repeating the compressions and breaths until professional help is available (Cardio…,1). If victim recovers, roll them on their side and wait for help.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. 16 June 2002. http://openseason.com/healthclub/cpr/cprabc.html>.
Learn CPR. 11 June 2002. http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/book.html >.
Learn CPR. 11 June 2002. http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/facts.html>.