On World Health Day we tell you reasons why any CPR is better than none at all
This year’s World Health Day marks the 70th anniversary of World Health Organisation (WHO) which is being observed with the theme ‘Universal health coverage everyone, everywhere’.
The idea remains that good health and healthcare should be for all and everyone should be covered. The fundamental focus of the WHO and World Health Day also remains in creating awareness on multiple aspects related to health, diseases and prevention.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been one of the worst victims of the misinformed and has been carelessly treated when portrayed in movies and TV. It is portrayed incorrectly very often - showing that pressing the chest hard a few times and a single round of mouth-to-mouth brings the victim back to life, usually coughing, bringing much cheer and relief to the protagonists and people around.
CPR is used to save people suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, which can be caused by multiple factors. A drowning person suffers from the lack of oxygen. The blood also undergoes physical changes as well. In salt water, osmosis makes the blood thicker by pulling water from the bloodstream into the lungs.
In fresh water, something different happens, wherein osmosis acts in the opposing direction. As a result, the blood becomes diluted and thinner, red blood cells get destroyed, and electrical activity of the heart gets affected.
Both the situations may trigger sudden cardiac arrest in the patients, causing the beating of the heart to stop, according to Dr Vanita Arora, Senior Consultant-Cardiac Electrophysiologist & Interventional Cardiologist Max Super Speciality Hospital.
For any person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, CPR is the most important first-aid step to undertake, till emergency medical service arrives. It is important to know that CPR may not bring people back to consciousness.
CPR is performed to pump blood and oxygen to the brain. If the heart is at a standstill then to restart it one needs to administer an electric shock.
“The key take away from these data is that we need to find better and more effective ways to educate the general public on the importance of providing bystander CPR, and the importance of being comfortable delivering it regardless of the factors like the gender, age, or even the weight of the person in need,” said Benjamin Abella, senior author of a CPR study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2017.
When a person has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, the key aspect is to hard-press the chest to keep the blood flowing and therefore keep the brain oxygenated. Breaking the rhythm to breathe-in oxygen will interrupt the flow of blood.
In fact, the American Heart Association has removed mouth-to-mouth breathing as an essential part of CPR in adults. Mouth to mouth breathing is still recommended in the case of children. The bottom line is that hands-only CPR is an essential part of CPR and cannot be compromised with.
When you see a person faint or become unconscious gasping for breath, the first thing is to check the pulse or beating of the heart. A person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest will not have a detectable pulse, which means he has only seconds to survive. The next step is to call emergency medical service immediately.
Almost simultaneously, the person should begin performing CPR and enact the following steps:
1. Call out and see if the patient responds.
2. Look at the person’s breathing.
3. Feel for the pulse in the neck if you know how to, with two fingers.
4. Place the patient on his/her back.
5. Kneel beside the patient on your knees.
6. At the center of the chest, place the heel of your first hand.
7. The heel of your second hand should go on the top of the first hand, with fingers of top hand clasping the bottom.
8. While keeping your arms straight, adjust your body to ensure that the shoulders are directly over your hands and the body.
9. Start pushing hard and fast with your body weight to put pressure on the chest. Try that the compressions should be about two inches deep.
10. Deliver 120 to 130 compressions per minute.
11. Don’t let go till medical help arrives or till you see clear life signs, such as breathing
You should not give up if you think you are unable to administer CPR perfectly. It should always be remembered that any form of CPR is better than no CPR. It is important that the center of the chest is compressed hard and fast, and till that is being done, you are increasing the chances of saving someone’s life.
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