Things You Need To Know About CPR
Lydia is feeling anxious. Tomorrow, she will be taking a CPR class and she still has no idea on what will happen. Oh yes, she has seen people do CPR in movies and on television, she had seen nurses and doctors do it in the hospital, but that’s it. She hasn’t experienced doing it herself. Could she do it? Will she fail or will she survive? Aside from learning the procedure, what more should she know about CPR and things related to it?
Below are some facts you need to know about CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation:
- Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in adults. Most arrests occur in persons with underlying heart disease.
- CPR doubles a person’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.
- 75% of all cardiac arrests happen in people’s homes.
- The typical victim of cardiac arrest is a man in his early 60’s and a woman in her late 60’s.
- Cardiac arrest occurs twice as frequently in men compared to women.
- CPR was invented in 1960
- There has never been a case of HIV transmitted by mouth-to-mouth CPR.
- Anyone can learn it. Though many medical professionals use CPR professionally, training is easy and anyone can do it. This may make you feel more empowered to help in an emergency. A common factor among survivors is that a bystander like you performed CPR until medical professionals arrived.
- In sudden cardiac arrest the heart goes from a normal heartbeat to a quivering rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). This happens in approximately 2/3rds of all cardiac arrests. VF is fatal unless an electric shock, called defibrillation, can be given. CPR does not stop VF but CPR extends the window of time in which defibrillation can be effective.
- Performing chest compressions is more important than mouth-to-mouth. Mouth-to-mouth used to be considered an integral part of CPR. In 2010, the American Heart Association released new guidelines that do not recommend mouth-to-mouth when performing CPR. Getting blood to the brain is the most important part of CPR and taking time out to give breaths reduces blood pressure immediately back to zero. With continued compressions, the brain gets the blood that it needs.
- CPR provides a trickle of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart and keeps these organs alive until defibrillation can shock the heart into a normal rhythm.
- CPR can be exhausting. CPR can be physically demanding over time and you may find yourself getting tired, depending on how long it takes to get medical professionals to the scene. If there is another person available to help, switch off every couple of minutes.
- You won’t restart the heart. The purpose of CPR isn’t to restart a person’s heart (although sometimes you will), so don’t expect them to suddenly recover. CPR is done to keep blood flowing to the brain and other organs until an AED or medical professionals arrive.
- If CPR is started within 4 minutes of collapse and defibrillation provided within 10 minutes a person has a 40% chance of survival.