Have you ever had to take care of a loved one in an intense health condition? The initial steps of handling an emergency involve making a call to a family physician, or better yet, to the nearest hospital. However, while you wait for the response of medical professionals, it helps to know a thing or two about handling the situation at hand. Is there something you can do to make the patient more comfortable? Is there a way to preserve the functionality and life of the patient before help comes? This is what emergency care is about, not to mention, CPR.
What is CPR?
You probably have heard the term CPR used a lot around you. However, do you know hat it means? It is an acronym used to refer to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. It features an emergency procedure that combines different techniques of chest compressions with artificial ventilation. The goal of the procedure is to preserve the brain function of the patient. This should remain intact until ER care comes by, and medical experts take it from there.
While emergency physicians are trained on a speedy response to emergency medical situations, they may not be around at the exact moment you need them. It is why every person should work to acquire CPR skills that can help during emergencies. You may not need to be thorough with your skills, but it helps to play the small part that you can.
Ideally, the CPR responsibility is not entirely left on you. The ER doctor responding to your emergency will also conduct some CPR on the patient before taking drastic medical measures. Stabilizing the heart and brain functions of the patients is paramount to quick recovery and positive response to treatment offered.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Steps
The steps of CPR differ based on the type of emergency you have at hand. Your goal as an aid to the patient should be to ensure they are breathing at all times. This ensures that their heart and brain are still functional as they await professional medical assistance. The steps involved in CPR include:
- Position your interlocked fingers over the chest – the patient should be lying flat on his/her back. Interlock your fingers, one on top of the other. Put pressure on the patient’s chest.
- Give chest compressions – the heel of your hand that is touching the patient’s chest directly should be used for the compressions. The other hand should help exert more pressure on the other hand as you compress the chest. As you exert pressure, be sure to release it without removing your hands from the chest. Do this in calculated motion. Aim at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. The compressions should be around 30.
- Opening the airway – this involves adjusting the head, and slightly opening the mouth. The chis should be lifted, to ensure an open airway.
- Rescue breaths – pinch the nose with one hand, while the other supports the chin up. Take normal breaths, then blow it into the mouth of the patient. Do this until you see the chest rise, then let it fall by removing your mouth. Repeat this up to around 10 times.
- Repeat the cycle – after rescue breaths, try the chest compressions again, and repeat the whole cycle.
What Are Some Safety Precautions For CPR?
As you perform CPR, realize that you are not an ER doctor. Therefore, it is important to exercise some safety precautions, like the ones listed below:
- Wear gloves – do not be exposed to fluids from the patient with bare hands.
- Consider the age of the patient – infants and babies are more fragile than adults. Therefore, be gentle with the compressions.
- Use masks – if you have them
- Protect your eyes and face in general from fluids from the patient.
- Don’t do anything you are not sure of how it works.
- Provide hands-only CPR is you are not trained professionally.
What Should You Do Before You Begin CPR?
Some of the things to do, before you begin, include:
- Finding a comfortable place to lay the patient.
- Calling for professional medical help – particularly 911.
- Check for the consciousness of the patient.
- Calm yourself down – you mustn’t go into shock as you are trying to help someone else.
Consequences to Expect from CPR
Overall, CPR should help restore blood circulation in the patient’s body. Expected results include regained consciousness, and restored breathing of the person.