It is heartening to know that there are many individuals who learn CPR on a voluntary basis. One of the most prominent reasons is that they are aware that cardiac resuscitation can save lives. Studying cardiac resuscitation techniques is considered as a personal and social responsibility and no one should be denied the opportunity to be properly trained in this area.

It is pertinent that everyone knows that accidents are sudden and many can be caught unprepared. If you are trained, you can double or even triple the survivability of a patient that has just experienced a cardiac arrest. As we kick off a new year in 2016, here are five CPR basics you should know:

Know when cardiac resuscitation is necessary

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When someone becomes unconscious, it does not necessarily mean that they require cardiac resuscitation. If you administer unnecessary cardiac resuscitation, you may pose danger to their health, especially with kids and babies. You should always make sure that the patient is responsive first. You may need to see if they can open their eyes, make verbal sounds or move any of their extremities.

If any of the mentioned signs happen, it means that they are responsive and do not require any form of cardiac resuscitation. Simply call 911 and the operators will give you specific advice on how to follow up on the current situation.

Only administer the procedure if you are certified

You have to refresh your cardiac resuscitation skills when the need arises as standards of care can be modified as time goes by. For instance, the practice of checking for an airway and seeing if the patient is breathing is no longer the first that needs to be done. Instead, you must begin chest compressions at the rate of thirty compressions right away. Once done, you should then check for respiration. If the patient is still not breathing, rescue breaths must be alternated with the compressions.

The recommended action plan for untrained individuals

The procedure is not as easy it looks so avoid performing it if you think you will cause more harm than good. The American Heart Association has revised its cardiac resuscitation standards; you must only apply chest compressions at the rate of a hundred compressions per minute. Do this until medical attention arrives to take over. If you are rusty with your skills, this action plan applies as well.

Perform cardiac resuscitation before calling 911

When you see a baby or kid unresponsive and require immediate medical attention, ensure that you perform at least two minutes of cardiac resuscitation before dialing 911. Ensure that you start with thirty chest compressions before checking for respiration and administer rescue breaths. Your actions may be far more helpful than just calling 911 alone.

Don’t stop chest compressions when the patient gasps

It may come as a little shock when the patient takes a gasp of air. However, you should never stop giving chest compressions because that sudden gasp may be a sign of cardiac arrest. Continue with the chest compressions to allow blood to be pumped to the brain. If you were the one who begin CPR, don’t stop until medical attention arrives on scene. Your decision to stop may be detrimental to the patient’s ability to survive!