Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.
Combine the lifesaving potential of anyone who understands how to administer CPR, the training capacity of hospitals who practice emergency medicine and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) model adopted by many corporate organisations and you have an ideal scenario to increase the ability of community members to be lifesavers, real heroes for those in dire need. Conducting training on CPR and other essential first aid has been adopted within the CSR strategies of at least two regional hospitals. Staff from Hua Hin Today has been able to take up the offer of free training conducted in Hua Hin by staff of the Bangkok Hospital (Hua Hin) and in Cha-Am by staff from Petcharat Hospital (Petchaburi. Our thanks to the doctors, nurses and administrative staff of these hospitals. These hospitals have offered training sessions to groups (typically 10 – 20 participants) to commercial organisations (e.g. hotel/resort staff) and community organisations but really they can respond to any situation where a gathering of interested community members are prepared to put aside a couple of hours and provide a venue. What is presented is a very professional and enthusiastic ‘seminar’ with hands on instruction by medical doctors and para medical staff using ‘dummy patients for a realistic experience and a certificate to take home.
So What Are the Basics?
When someone loses consciousness and stops breathing, It’s far better to do something than to do nothing at all even if you’re fearful that your knowledge or abilities aren’t 100 percent complete. Remember, the difference between your doing something and doing nothing could be someone’s life.
CPR can keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until more definitive medical treatment can restore a normal heart rhythm. When the heart stops, the lack of oxygenated blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes. A person may die within eight to 10 minutes.
– Before you begin CPR, check if the person conscious or unconscious.
– If the person appears unconscious, tap or shake his or her shoulder and ask loudly, “Are you OK?”
– If the person doesn’t respond and two people are available, one should call the local emergency number and one should begin CPR. If you are alone and have immediate access to a telephone, call before beginning CPR. Leave the phone on speaker phone so that your progress can be monitored and to guide the responding emergency services.
The American Heart Association uses the acronym of CAB — compressions, airway, breathing — to help people remember the order to perform the steps of CPR.
Compressions: Restore blood circulation Put the person on his or her back on a firm surface. Kneel next to the person’s neck and shoulders. Place the heel of one hand over the centre of the person’s chest, between the nipples. Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders directly above your hands. Use your upper body weight (not just your arms) as you push straight down on (compress) the chest at least 2 inches (approximately 5 centimeters). Push hard at a rate of about 100 compressions a minute. If you haven’t been trained in CPR, continue chest compressions until there are signs of movement or until emergency medical personnel take over. If you have been trained in CPR, go on to checking the airway and rescue breathing.
Airway: Clear the airway If you’re trained in CPR and you’ve performed 30 chest compressions, open the person’s airway using the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver. Put your palm on the person’s forehead and gently tilt the head back. Then with the other hand, gently lift the chin forward to open the airway.
Check for normal breathing, taking no more than five or 10 seconds. Look for chest motion, listen for normal breath sounds, and feel for the person’s breath on your cheek and ear. Gasping is not considered to be normal breathing. If the person isn’t breathing normally and you are trained in CPR, begin mouth-to-mouth breathing. If you believe the person is unconscious from a heart attack and you haven’t been trained in emergency procedures, skip mouth-tomouth breathing and continue chest compressions.
Breathing: Breathe for the person Rescue breathing can be mouth-to-mouth breathing or mouth-to-nose breathing if the mouth is seriously injured or can’t be opened. With the airway open (using the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver), pinch the nostrils shut for mouth-to-mouth breathing and cover the person’s mouth with yours, making a seal. Prepare to give two rescue breaths. Give the first rescue breath — lasting one second — and watch to see if the chest rises. If it does rise, give the second breath. If the chest doesn’t rise, repeat the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver and then give the second breath. Thirty chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths is considered one cycle. Resume chest compressions to restore circulation.
What’s An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)?
AEDs are lightweight, battery-operated, portable devices that are easy to use. Each unit comes with instructions, and the device will even give you voice prompts to let you know how effective the CPR is and when you should send a shock to the heart. With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layperson. The use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, certified first responder, and basic life support / cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes. Learning how to use an AED and taking a CPR course are helpful. However, if trained personnel aren’t available, untrained people also can use an AED to help save someone’s life. You often find AEDs in places with large numbers of people, such as shopping malls, golf courses, businesses, airports, airplanes, casinos, convention centers, hotels, sports venues, and schools. You also can purchase a home-use AED.
Some Quick Facts
– About 75 percent to 80 percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home, so being trained to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can mean the difference between life and death for a loved one.
– Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest can double a victim’s chance of survival. • CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain and increases the amount of time that an electric shock from a defibrillator can be effective.
– Death from sudden cardiac arrest is not inevitable. If more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved.
– Brain death starts to occur four to six minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest if no CPR and defibrillation occurs during that time.
– If bystander CPR is not provided, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival fall 7 percent to 10 percent for every minute of delay until defibrillation.
– Few attempts at resuscitation are successful if CPR and defibrillation are not provided within minutes of collapse.