Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a medical procedure that is administered to someone in the event that they suffer a cardiac arrest in order to save their life. It works by pumping blood around their body when the heart is unable to do it for itself.
In the United States of America alone there are more than 350,000 incidents of cardiac arrest – that equates to one every 2 minutes. Without receiving CPR, some 92 percent of those people experiencing a cardiac arrest die before being able to reach a hospital. This is because time matters when it comes to this type of medical emergency and for every minute that CPR is not performed, the survival rate of the individual decreases by 10 percent.
Using CPR or an AED
Where and when a person is experiencing a cardiac arrest, you should administer CPR to them. If there is an automated external defibrillator (AED) close by and not in use, then someone should go and get it.
Before even performing CPR, you should first call the emergency services via 911. Then and only then should you begin with the chest compressions. In order to do this correctly, you must place one of your hands in the middle of their chest then place your other hand right on top of it with your fingers interlaced. You then need to start pressing down hard and fast at a rate of approximately 100 beats per minute – similar to the beat in the Bee Gees song, ‘Stayin’ Alive’.
If there is an AED available then use it, making sure that you follow the instructions that are on it. This should be done whilst giving CPR. Do not stop the chest compressions until a trained professional from an emergency service is present to take over and continue administering CPR.
The need for accessible AEDs
Where an AED is used to treat a cardiac arrest, it increases the survival chances of the individual by as much as 50 percent. They can be accessible to the public because, fortunately, they do not require the need for a trained medical professional in order to be used. This is because they have been designed in such a way anyone can use one and even come with step by step instructions.
These include opening up the case and taking off the lids, shaving the area where the pads need to be applied, drying the person’s chest, applying the pads, and then following the prompts given by the device to administer a shock.
Because correctly administered CPR can have the effect of doubling or even tripling survival rates after the incident of a cardiac arrest, it is important to learn how to do it. For this reason, CPR training has become a requirement in high schools across 38 different states in America.
If you do not live in one of those states or have already graduated from high school and would like to gain a CPR AED first aid certification online, then follow the link.