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First Aid

How To Administer CPR | First Aid

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Tuba Tasneem

March 07, 2023

Read time : 04 mins

Table of contents

Why Do We Perform CPR? Can Anyone Do CPR? Administering CPR on an Infant Administering CPR on a Child Administering CPR on an Adult Administering Hands-Only CPR for Adults

How to administer CPR

Everyone should have a basic understanding of CPR since it might enable you to save someone’s life. CPR is required in medical emergencies that arise at any time or location. In the UK, more than 30000 cardiac attacks occur outside of hospitals each year, according to the British Heart Foundation.

This article defines CPR, discusses its applications, and identifies qualified personnel. You will discover the procedures to follow based on whether you perform CPR on a newborn, child, or adult.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, is a life-saving emergency technique that combines chest compressions with artificial ventilation (breathing) when a person’s heart stops beating or breathing stops. CPR can improve a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest when administered quickly.

A person having a cardiac arrest may display the following signs and symptoms:

  • Creating gasping noises while either not breathing or not breathing regularly.
  • You’re motionless and unconscious.
  • Unresponsive to touch or sound.

CPR must be performed on a casualty as soon as possible if they are unconscious and not breathing properly or at all.

Why Do We Perform CPR?

CPR is the practice of manually administering chest compressions and ventilations to a victim who is in need of oxygen. When a person’s heart and lungs are unable to pump blood and oxygen throughout their body, CPR can help. When performing CPR, you are essentially acting in the victim’s place as their heart and lungs. Doing this can stop their life-threatening condition from worsening before emergency medical care can take over.

A medical emergency requiring immediate attention is cardiac arrest. This indicates that if the problem isn’t treated right now, it could worsen quickly. This means that for cardiac arrests outside of hospitals, workplace first responders, bystanders, family members, and friends may be present and must begin CPR. In fact, according to data from the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, almost 70% of cardiac arrests occur at home.

While waiting for emergency medical aid, a casualty’s health might significantly worsen if CPR is not administered. Rapid action could make the difference between life and death for many people.

Can Anyone Do CPR?

You must be sure of your knowledge and be able to tell when a casualty needs CPR before you try to perform CPR. Depending on the casualty’s age and the type of practical first aid training, you must take the appropriate course of action.

It’s vital to remember that you shouldn’t do CPR on adults using rescue breaths if you haven’t received the practical training necessary to be certified as a first aider. This indicates that you should perform chest compressions-only CPR in its place.

However, it’s more likely that a respiratory failure caused a child or infant’s cardiac arrest than anything else. Therefore, you must administer rescue breaths on kids and babies if you’ve got practice and are comfortable doing it. You must seek guidance from the emergency services on the appropriate course of action to follow for the individual circumstances if you haven’t had practical first aid training or are unsure.

Anytime you are unsure about performing CPR on a victim, contact 999 or 112. The call handler is best to advise you on what to do in various circumstances. The emergency call handler will be happy to answer your questions.

Administering CPR on an Infant

Anyone under the age of one year is considered to be an infant. It is most likely that a respiratory failure caused an infant’s cardiac arrest. Perform rescue breaths only if you have received Paediatric First Aid training in practice and are comfortable doing so. You must seek guidance from the emergency services on the appropriate course of action to follow for the individual circumstances if you haven’t had practical first aid training or are unsure.

When performing CPR on newborns, you should:

  • Make sure the emergency services have been contacted as soon as possible. Before phoning the emergency services on a speaker phone, you must do one minute of CPR if you’re alone. If feasible, have a friend or family member dial 999 or 112.
  • Start CPR after setting the infant down on a flat, hard surface. You can open their airway by placing one hand on their forehead and gently tilting their head back. Lift their chin with your other hand’s fingertips.
  • The baby’s chest should rise when you place your lips around their mouth and nose and gently blow for one second. Close your mouth, then watch as their chest returns to normal. For a total of five rescue breaths, repeat this.
  • Place two fingertips in the infant’s chest’s centre and press down 4 cm (at least one-third of its depth). If you are unable to reach this depth, try using the heel of one hand. Give two rescue breaths after performing 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute.
  • Until aid arrives or the baby begins to breathe normally, keep performing the pattern of 30 compressions and two rescue breaths.

Put the baby in recovery if they start breathing regularly or making any noise. You should keep an eye on their status because you could need to perform CPR once again.

It’s vital to remember that infants younger than one-year-old shouldn’t be treated with defibrillators (AEDs).

Administering CPR on a Child

Make sure the emergency services have been contacted as soon as possible. Before phoning the emergency services on a speaker phone, you must do one minute of CPR if you’re alone. If feasible, have a friend or family member dial 999 or 112.

  1. Lay them down and begin CPR. Place one hand on the person’s forehead, tilt back their head, and lift their chin with the fingers of the other hand; you can gently open their airway.
  2. With the hand on their forehead, pinch their nose while keeping their head tipped. Take your lips out, then observe their chest collapse. Their chest should rise when you place your mouth over theirs and blow for up to one second. Continue until you’ve taken five initial rescue breaths.
  3. Prepare to apply 100–120 chest compressions per minute for 30 compressions. Push down by 5 cm with the heel of one hand while placing it in the centre of their chest (one-third of the chest diameter). Use both hands by interlocking them like you would when performing adult CPR if you can’t reach a depth of 5 cm with one. After 30 times, release the pressure and repeat. Take two breaths to help.
  4. As soon as the victim starts to feel better and can breathe on their own, keep performing the 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths sequence until aid arrives or a defibrillator is ready to be deployed.
  5.  

You must place the infant in the recovery posture if they start to speak. While waiting for emergency help, keep an eye on their status because you could need to perform CPR again.

Administering CPR on an Adult

A person is considered an adult in first aid if they have reached puberty, typically 12 years old or older. Give the adult casualty rescue breaths while applying chest compressions if you are a certified first aider, which means you have already completed a hands-on training course and feel comfortable using your skills.

When performing CPR on an adult, you should:

  1. Make sure the emergency services have been contacted right away. This should be done by someone who won’t be administering CPR, or you should put the emergency services on speaker phone, so you can communicate with them while performing CPR. If another person is around, ask them to get a defibrillator if one is accessible. Given that performing CPR is your top priority, avoid seeking one yourself.
  2. Place the casualty on their back while kneeling close to them.
  3. Lean over the victim while keeping your arms straight and resting the heel of one hand on the victim’s breastbone in the middle of their chest. Your fingers should be interlocked and should not contact their ribs as you place the heel of your second hand on top of the first.
  4. Use your body weight to press down directly to a depth of 5 to 6 cm while keeping your arms straight. Allow the chest to rise back up by releasing the pressure. In sync with the song “Staying Alive,” or at a rate of two repetitions per second, repeat this 30 times.
  5. After the 30 chest compressions, take two rescue breaths. To do this, softly raise the victim’s chin with two fingers while tilting their head. Take a deep inhale, pinch their nose, and wrap your lips around their mouth. Remove your mouth and let the chest deflate after blowing deeply for about a second till you notice their chest rise. Repeat once more so they get two rescue breaths altogether.
  6. Until the emergency services arrive, the victim begins breathing on their own, you become too weary to continue, or a defibrillator is available, keep performing the 30-compression-two-rescue-breath cycle.

Put the victim in recovery as soon as their breathing returns to normal. While you wait for the emergency services to arrive, keep an eye on their status because you could need to perform CPR once again.

Administering Hands-Only CPR for Adults

You shouldn’t do CPR on adults if you aren’t a certified first aider and haven’t received hands-on training. The NHS recommends that you only try chest compressions instead.

Resuscitation Council UK has provided advice on performing CPR in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. To guarantee that it is carried out securely and the risk of spreading the virus between oneself and the casualty is minimised, they urge that first aid, including CPR, be delivered differently. When giving CPR, it’s recommended to carefully cover the victim’s mouth and nose with a towel or piece of clothing while taking care not to block their mouth. Importantly, during this period, you should only perform hands-only CPR on adults. This indicates that you should only do chest compressions on adult casualties instead of performing rescue breaths.

However, if you have received the requisite hands-on training and feel comfortable, you should continue to give rescue breaths to infants and toddlers while performing CPR.

When performing hands-only CPR on an adult, you should:

  1. As you begin CPR, ask someone to dial 999 or 112 immediately. If you are by yourself, you should dial 911 on your own and switch the phone to speaker mode so you may begin performing CPR at the same time. If another person is around, ask them to get a defibrillator if one is accessible. Given that performing CPR is your top priority, avoid seeking one yourself.
  2. Place the victim on their back and begin CPR by kneeling next to their chest.
  3. Lean over the victim while keeping your arms straight and resting the heel of one hand on the victim’s breastbone in the middle of their chest. Your fingers should be interlocked and should not contact their ribs as you place the heel of your second hand on top of the first.
  4. Use your body weight to press down directly to a depth of 5 to 6 cm while keeping your arms straight. Allow the chest to rise back up by releasing the pressure. Give two compressions every second, or in sync with the song “Staying Alive,” continuously.
  5. Until the emergency services arrive, the victim begins breathing on their own, you become too weary to continue, or a defibrillator is ready to be deployed, perform compressions at a pace of 100 to 120 times per minute. If another person is nearby and you run out of energy to continue, they might be able to take over by performing chest compressions while you rest. After that, you can alternate every few minutes, taking turns to perform hands-only CPR on the victim.

Put the victim in recovery as soon as their breathing returns to normal. While you wait for the emergency services to arrive, keep an eye on their status because you could need to perform CPR once again.

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