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Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation-Must know

Dr. Sunil Dwivedi

Dr. Sunil Dwivedi

  Vasanth nagar, Bengaluru     Apr 5, 2017

   4 min     


Your heartbeat and breathing can stop for numerous reasons. It could be an accident, blood infection or a heart attack. The outcome of which does not precisely have to be death. CPR or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was evolved to help extend the possibilities of one’s survival.


CPR or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a method in which you primarily try to resume someone’s heart or breathing by putting pressure on the person’s chest manually and breathing into the person’s mouth, by thrusting down air into the person’s lungs. In emergencies it is a very crucial technique that can save a life. Damage to any organ or the brain can be prevented and a life can be saved through this technique.  When person is not breathing or their heart is not beating, then a CPR should be performed.

The breathing part of the procedure is called as, rescue breathing, ventilation or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.


Standard CPR comprises of both chest compression and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The University Of Washington School Of Medicine says the lungs of the victim are provided with oxygen from mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Your breath will still be about 16 percent oxygen, even though you are exhaling.

Unless someone performs compression CPR, there is nothing to pump the blood and keep it moving, if a person’s heart has stopped.

Published in the journal "Circulation," written in a paper in 2007 by Dr. Gordon A. Ewy, alerts that blood flow in someone whose heart has ceased is weak enough that “any interference in chest compressions, even if it is for breathing, lowers the possibilities to live.”

Way to safety:

Before you begin CPR in an emergency, there are steps to take. These questions help you evaluate the situation.

Is the person composed or awake? If they are not conscious, talk to them, touch them to check for an acknowledgement.

Is the location or situation safe? It is best to start CPR right then, but only if you are not in danger.

Check if there are other people around you; begin CPR first if you are the only person. After 5 cycles of CPR, call the helpline. If you have people around you then someone can call the helpline and meanwhile someone can start giving CPR.

Is an AED handy? (This is a gadget that releases electrical currents to kick-start your heart.) If so, proceed with the guide to give a shock then start CPR.

CPR consists of 3 stages. The American Heart Association (AHA) uses CAB to remember the order. It stands for Compressions, Airway, and Breathing.

Compressions: The heart is stimulated with the chest compressions. The blood starts pumping again with the forceful pressings. To start with the person should be on a firm surface and on their back. It is ideal to kneel beside the person’s torso. Place your hands on the center of the person’s chest with your palm side down. Place one hand on top of the other hand. Lean directly over the person, keeping your elbows straight. Push down about 2 inches and try to utilize your body weight to push. At the rate of hundred to one twenty per minute, repeat this movement.

You only should do chest compressions, if you are not trained in CPR.  You can move on to the next 2 stages of CPR if you are trained.

Airway & Breathing: Check for signs of normal breathing, after 30 chest compressions. For about 5 to 10 seconds listen to the person’s mouth and chest. You need to open their airway, if they still are not breathing. Slant the person's head back a little and lift the chin. Pinch the person’s nostril shut. This will build a seal to permit air in one way. Give two big rescue breaths into their mouth. The rescue breath should not be forceful and must last for one second. If the person’s mouth is impaired then you can breathe into the person’s nostril.

Check for signs of normal breathing again. Start again with chest compressions, if the person is still unconscious. The entire CPR cycle can be repeated five times or about two minutes. All 3 stages equal one cycle.

If you need to do CPR on a baby. Use two fingers (1 from each hand) for the chest compressions.  Instead of deep ones, give gentle breaths.

Things to be considered:

Emergency conditions can be hard and scary. Remember, some response is better than no response

 A person whose heart is not beating is not breathing blacks out right then. They can die within five to ten minutes. You can help even if you are not trained in CPR. You can give chest compressions and call for emergency helpline. If they are in good health otherwise, CPR can save someone’s life. CPR may not help for a person who already has cancer or illness.

CPR does have its risks. Pressing on the person’s chest may cause injuries. They may suffer a collapsed lung, broken ribs or a sore chest. After CPR, the person may require help to breathe or may be required to stay in the hospital.

Tags:  Heart, Heart diseases, ,

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