Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure consisting of chest compressions, often combined with artificial ventilation, to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation to the vital organs and to breathe in a person who is in cardiac arrest.
CPR oxygenates the body and brain and is thus favorable in making a later defibrillation advanced life support possible. On the other hand, delaying CPR often results in poor outcomes.
Here are the 10 steps to perform CPR
1. Ensure Scene safety
Survey the area for scene safety. Although it is best to begin CPR as quickly as possible, the person who is about to perform CPR needs to ensure that he will be safe while performing the procedure. This may include looking for traffic, fires, or other potential dangers.
2. Check responsiveness
If the scene is safe to respond to, check the victim's responsiveness to determine if CPR is necessary. Tap the victim on the shoulder and ask if he is OK or gently shake the person to check responsiveness. Listen, look and feel for breathing for no more than 10 seconds. CPR is necessary only when a person is not breathing or circulating blood adequately.
3. Call 911
If two people are present, one can begin CPR immediately while the other calls 911 for help. If only one person is present, that person should call 911 before beginning CPR if he has immediate access to a telephone or administer CPR and then call 911.
4. Position the victim
Position the unresponsive person appropriately. Place the person on her back on a firm surface like the ground.
5. Chest Compression
Chest compressions should be done only when the person is unconscious and does not have normal breathing, coughing, or movement.
For adult patients:
- Place the heel of your dominant hand between and slightly below the victim’s nipples, and place the other hand on top of that hand.
- Position shoulders directly above the hands and keeps arms straight. Use body weight to push the chest down about 2-2.4 inches deep.
- Continue pushing at a chest compression rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. According to the AHA, the beat of the Bee Gees song "Stayin' Alive" provides an ideal rhythm in terms of beats per minute.
- For child patients: use a similar process but use one hand to compress the chest about 1/3 to 1/2 of the depth of the chest.
- For infants: Two fingers should be used instead of hands, and the infant’s chest should be pushed approximately 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
6. Open the Airway
Open her airway by lifting her chin and tilting her head upward.
7. Rescue Breathing
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in adults requires pinching the nostrils and giving two breaths into the mouth, while mouth-to-nose rescue breathing in adults requires breaths delivered through the nostrils.
If the victim is an infant, rescue breathing can also be administered simultaneously through the mouth and nostrils if the CPR performer’s mouth is large enough to cover both.
- Give one rescue breath and watch to see if the victim’s chest rises. If it does, give a second rescue breath.
- If the victim’s chest doesn’t rise, reposition the head or check to see if something is blocking the air passage and try again.
- Avoid excessive ventilation
Only trained professionals should attempt rescue breathing. Those uncomfortable with their skills in this area may consider performing hands only CPR or compression-only CPR until emergency medical help arrives to provide advanced life support.
Repeat the CPR cycle of 30 chest compressions, followed by 2 rescue breaths until emergency medical personnel arrives to provide advanced life support or until the victim regains consciousness or any signs of life.
Once AED is available, use it immediately.
- If possible, administer a shock to adult or child patients using an automatic external defibrillator.
- Those not trained to use a defibrillator may receive instructions and guidance from a 911 operator.
- After administering one shock, resume chest compressions for 2 minutes before the AED analyze the heart rhythm again.
10. Recovery Position
When the victim starts breathing normally, put him in a recovery position and monitor his condition.
When the EMS arrives, provide information to the emergency responders. Explain how the victim was found, how long the CPR was performed, and any other information that may be relevant to treatment.
CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an emergency procedure used to preserve brain function in cardiac arrest patients until further measures can be taken. It can significantly improve someone's chances of survival if they suffer a heart attack or stop breathing following an accident or trauma.