involves a combination of mouth-to-mouth (or with a barrier device), rescue
breathing and chest compression, where the provider essentially takes over the
respiratory and circulatory components of the body. CPR keeps oxygenated blood
flowing to the brain and other vital organs until appropriate medical treatment
can restore a normal heart rhythm.
Mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing with a barrier device is the quickest way to
get oxygen into a person's lungs. However, if you're not trained in
emergency procedures, mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing may be skipped to
prevent disease transmission. The
most important thing you can do is to proceed directly to chest compression
to move blood to vital organs, particularly the brain and heart. If you're
trained in emergency procedures, it's important to do both mouth-to-mouth
rescue breathing and chest compression.
compressions. Chest compressions replace the heartbeat when it has stopped.
Compressions will help to maintain some blood flow to the brain, lungs and
heart. You should perform rescue breathing anytime you perform chest
compressions if possible.
starting CPR, assess the situation:
- Is the area around the victim safe for you to enter?
- Is the person conscious or unconscious?
- If the person appears unconscious, tap or shake his
or her shoulder and ask loudly, "Are you OK?"
- If the person doesn't respond, get help by dialing
911. If someone else is
available, have him or her call 911 for you.
- Position the person so you can check for signs of
life by laying the person flat on their back on a firm surface.
- If there is no possibility of neck or back injury,
open the person's mouth and airway by tilting the head back with one
hand and lifting the chin upward with two fingers of the other hand.
- Determine whether the person is breathing by
simultaneously looking at the chest for rise and fall, listening and
feeling for any air coming from the victim’s mouth or nose.
- If the person is not breathing, pinch his or her
nostrils closed, make a seal around the mouth and breathe into his
or her mouth twice, using slow breaths lasting about 1 ˝ to 2
- Determine if there are signs of circulation by
looking for coughing or movement of the chest or feeling for a
carotid pulse on the neck if trained to do so. If there are no signs
of circulation, expose the chest by removing any clothing.
With one hand place it on the center of chest with the middle
of your hand between the nipples of the victim. Place
your other hand over the first and interlock your fingers under the
bottom hand. This will
place your hands over the lower half of the breastbone.
Keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders
directly above your hands.
down 1 1/2 to 2 inches at a rate of 100 times a minute. The compression
and relaxation phases should be equal in effort with 50% down and 50%
jab downward on the chest with your compression. After 15 compressions,
breathe into the person's mouth twice.
every four cycles of 15 compressions and two breaths, recheck for signs
of circulation. Continue CPR and check every few minutes thereafter or
until EMS or an AED machine arrives.
to E-zine Home