Imagine you are at work, and someone goes into cardiac arrest. What are you going to do? Freeze, or perform CPR? In these situations, you don’t have time to think; you have to act. When it comes to whether bad CPR is better than no CPR, the answer is an emphatic yes.
However, recent research from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center found that most people who perform CPR don’t perform it correctly. Moreover, of the 50 people in the study, 60 percent had CPR training. The study shows the glaring demand for people with more comprehensive CPR training.
In fact, if a person administers CPR immediately, the patient’s chances for survival doubles or triples. This number increase is significant because around 90 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients die.
One of the causes for such a high mortality rate is that people don’t act right away. These statistics not only represent the importance of quickly beginning CPR in cardiac arrest emergencies; they also demonstrate the need for more citizens to take a CPR/AEDcourse.
If you witness someone go into cardiac arrest, don’t hesitate. Call 911 and put the phone on speaker. Ask them for directions on how to start applying chest compressions. The difference between bad CPR and no CPR is significant, and you could save a life even if you have no formal training.
The benefits of being CPR and AED trained are plentiful. But the chief reason why CPR is essential is that it can prevent brain death in a person suffering from cardiac arrest.
When a person suffers sudden cardiac arrest, their heart stops due to a miscommunication between their brain and heart. The key for CPR, then, is keeping the person’s blood flowing. If their blood stops flowing to the brain, they can experience brain death. To keep blood and oxygen flowing to the brain, the person giving CPR must press the chest hard. People performing CPR too soft is one of the common problems with how people apply CPR.
Chest compressions are even more critical to keeping oxygen flowing to the brain than mouth-to-mouth breathing. In fact, the American Heart Association has removed mouth-to-mouth breathing as an essential component of CPR.
To avoid hesitating when you witness a cardiac arrest emergency, follow these steps. However, to become an expert on administering CPR/AED, you must get certified.
Even before calling 911, you should make sure the environment is safe. Check for potential hazards such as traffic, fire, or potentially dangerous materials. After ensuring your safety, check the person in cardiac arrest. Shake them to make sure they aren’t sleeping or unconscious, and shout their name if they’re unresponsive.
After making sure of the patient’s conditions, call 911 or ask a bystander to call 911. You should also ask the bystander to try to find an AED. Buildings often have AEDs in their lobbies or offices.
After notifying the authorities, place the person on their back and ensure an open airway. Kneel beside their chest, so you have the leverage to provide enough pressure. Then, slightly lift the patient’s chin. Open the patient’s mouth and check for any obstruction. If there is an obstruction, remove it.
Place your ear next to the person’s mouth and listen for their breath. Make sure you allow enough time to check for breathing- around ten seconds. If you do not hear any breathing or only hear infrequent gasps, you should begin CPR.
If you notice someone is still breathing, but they are unconscious, you should not perform CPR. In these cases, you should continuously check for breathing until paramedics arrive and start performing CPR if the patient stops breathing.
The first step of CPR is performing 30 chest compressions. To do so, clasp your hands together and place the heels of your hands on the chest. Straighten your elbows and press down on the chest hard to a rhythm. The most familiar songs used as a reference for chest compression rhythm are “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Work It” by Missy Elliot.
The ideal depth to aim for while performing chest compressions is at least 2 inches deep. You should let the chest rise fully in between each compression, and you should compress their chest at a 100 times per minute rate.
A challenging question laypeople and medical experts face is choosing whether to perform CPR or apply an AED. CPR merely delays potentially catastrophic consequences, while AEDs can restart a fibrillating heart. Since AEDs are machines, they also eliminate the potential for human error.
The AED is, without a doubt, the more proven option. However, in cardiac arrest emergencies, time is of the essence and you can’t afford to lose it looking all over the premise for an AED. The combination of CPR and AED therapy is, by far, the ideal option. In a 2004 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a defibrillator-CPR combination improved cardiac arrest patients’ survival rate by 9%.
The statistics discussed in this article reveal that citizens need to respond quicker and with more confidence when they find themselves in a cardiac arrest emergency. Research shows that only about half of Americans say they know how to perform CPR. Of that, only one in six are aware that mouth-to-mouth breathing isn’t an essential part of CPR. This stat shows there needs to be a more concerted effort among institutions to develop a consistent CPR approach.
More people must get trained in CPR and institutions must make knowledge more accessible to save more lives. However, regardless of the need for more trained CPR citizens, if you find yourself in a cardiac arrest situation, bad CPR is better than no CPR.