Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, otherwise referred to as CPR, is simply an emergence procedure carried out when a person suffers from a respiratory arrest, a heart attack or a cardiac arrest. For one to carry out the procedure, he or she needs to first understand the situation at hand.

Take cardiac arrest for instance. It is cessation of blood circulation as a result of heart muscles failing to contract normally. It has a direct link with respiratory arrest, a condition which cuts oxygen supply to vital body parts. Both cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest can result brain damage in a few seconds and death in less than 10 minutes. CPR therefore steps in to help the victim breath, improve blood circulation and prevent death. But how in the first place should one go about the procedure?

The initial stage

It all starts with the main objective of performing CPR. Like already hinted, it is all about restoring normal blood circulation as well as breathing. By doing so, you are in essence preventing sudden or gradual brain damage that can occur as a result of inadequate blood and oxygen circulation to the brain.

But before then, one should be able to first identify if the unconscious victim is suffering from a cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest. Unfortunately, it is hard especially for laymen to tell the difference between cardiac and respiratory arrest. So to be on the safe side, start off with chest compressions to clear the airways and initiate breathing. Be sure to first check if the person is unconscious. You can always do this by checking the neck or wrist pulse.

Step one – Chest compressionsChest compressions

Chest compressions can go a long way to help the victim regain consciousness by restoring blood circulation. To carry out the procedure quickly and with ease, kneed at the side of the unconscious person then firmly place the heel of your hand in the middle of the chest of the unconscious person. The right position is usually between the nipples. Put your other hand on top of the other hand with your fingers interlacing each other. Your elbows should be straight while your shoulders should be positioned directly above your hand.

Step two – Clear the airway

Put your palm on the victim’s forehead and gently tilt the head back. Slowly lift the chin forward with your free hand and feel the person’s breath in your cheek and ears. Observe if there is any movement around the chest area. This is an easy way of checking and opening up the airways before the victim regains full consciousness.

Step three – Rescue breaths

You may notice that the victim’s breathing isn’t normal or that the victim is not breathing at all. To rescue his or her breaths, pinch the nostril slightly and seal his or her mouth with your mouth. Give a mouth to mouth for at least one second. Do this gently so as to make sure air finds its way into the lungs and not into the stomach.

Step 4 – Call for help

Repeat steps 1 to 3 if the unconscious person does not respond to any CPR procedure. Then have someone assist you to call for emergency assistance. Stay with your victim until help arrives.