What is CPR and why does it matter for us to know how to do CPR?
CPR is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
Cardio refers to the heart, whereas pulmonary refers to the lungs. To put it plainly, CPR is a technique to resuscitate the heart and lungs after they have stopped for a while.
There are many reasons why the heart and lungs can stop functioning. Heart attack, stroke, asthma, drowning, and drug overdose are some of the few reasons.
It is important for us to know how to do CPR because blood circulation is important to reach the nervous tissue in the brain and other vital organs. The nervous tissue in the brain cannot survive without blood supply for more than 4 minutes. Therefore, 4 minutes is known as the ‘CPR golden time’. These 4 minutes could determine the life or death of a person.
(Image by American Heart Association)
Here are 6 simple steps to do CPR with the acronym D-R-S-C-A-B:
- Make sure that there is no immediate danger to the patient and first aider.
- You can do this by simply lightly tapping on the patient’s shoulder while asking the patient, “Hello! Hello! Are you alright?”
- Should there be no response, proceed to the next step.
Shout For Help
- Shout for help so that the people around you are aware of the situation.
- Get one of them to call 999 and bring CardiAid (AED).
- Make sure the patient is on a flat, hard surface.
- Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.
- Interlock fingers.
- Compress the chest at the rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
- Make sure each compression reaches the depth of 5-6 cm.
- Allow for full recoil of the chest after each compression for the heart to fill before the next compression.
- Tip: Make sure your arms are straight and use your body weight for the compressions.
Open The Airway
- Tilt the head and lift the chin.
- Execute mouth to mouth breathing by pinching the nose and blowing into the mouth for 1 second.
Continue to do CPR by alternating chest compression and breathing until the ambulance arrives.
Note: 30 chest compressions + 2 mouth-to-mouth breathing = 1 cycle
In addition, there is no need for a layperson to check for pulse. According to the latest American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines, new evidence shows that the risk of harm to a victim who receives chest compressions when not in cardiac arrest is low. Lay rescuers are not able to determine with accuracy whether a victim has a pulse, and the risk of withholding CPR from a pulseless victim exceeds the harm from unneeded chest compressions.
(Image by Madrolly, Getty Images)
And that’s about all you need to know about CPR!
But wait a minute… Do you have a concern after going through the steps to do CPR? It’s 2021 and we’re in the midst of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, and CPR involves mouth-to-mouth breathing? That’s the last thing you would want to do in the midst of a pandemic.
So how do you do CPR during the Covid-19 pandemic?
According to the ALS Subcommittee, National Committee on Resuscitation Training, Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), you can do the following:
- Perform hands-only CPR (without mouth-to-mouth breathing).
- Use a face mask or cloth covering the mouth and nose of the first aider and/or victim to reduce the risk of transmission before commencing CPR.
- Use an automated external defibrillator.
It is far better to do something than to do nothing at all if you ever come across an emergency in which CPR is required. Your action (or inaction) could make the difference between a person’s life or death.