Everyone should take a basic course in CPR, even if you do not maintain certification – if for no other reason than to understand why it can work and when it is necessary.
Below are more instructions on when and how to initiate and perform CPR.
What to Do If You’re Untrained
The American Heart Association has revised its CPR standards, and now advises people who aren’t trained in CPR to skip mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Instead, you should only apply chest compressions at the rate of 100 compressions per minute uninterrupted, until medical attention arrives on the scene to take over.
Administering CPR if Certified
If you’re trained in CPR, the AHA has also changed the standard of care in regards to CPR.
Instead of checking for an airway (or seeing if they’re breathing), you should immediately begin chest compressions at the rate of 30 compressions. Once you’ve administered those compressions, you can check for breathing. If the person is not breathing, you can defer to using rescue breaths alternated with chest compressions.
Knowing When CPR is Necessary
Just because a person is unconscious doesn’t mean they need CPR administered. Giving someone unnecessary CPR can be dangerous to their health, especially with babies and children. See if the person is responsive first. This includes opening their eyes, making sounds from the mouth, or moving their limbs.
What If the Victim Gasps?
A lot of people will stop giving chest compressions if the victim takes a gasp of air. It’s important not to stop giving compressions because a sudden gasp indicates cardiac arrest, and chest compressions will continue to pump blood to the brain. If you start CPR, it’s imperative you don’t stop compressions until help arrives, or the person is revived.
Administering CPR can be a life-saver when used in an appropriate manner.
Knowing how and when to use it, however, is paramount to ensuring the most optimum outcome possible for the person needing medical attention.
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