What is Resuscitation and CPR?

You’ve probably heard about resuscitation and CPR, but what exactly does this mean? To answer this question we need to consider what happens when a victim suffers a cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating. Once the heart stops beating the blood stops circulating around the body.

As a result, oxygen is no longer supplied to the vital organs. The brain is particularly susceptible to this. Without oxygen for more than a few minutes the brain cells begin to die. If a casualty has had a cardiac arrest it is therefore important to start resuscitation as soon as possible. The chances of survival after resuscitation are small.

However, numerous studies have shown that immediate resuscitation has a positive effect. A casualty’s chances of survival will double or even triple if a bystander is prepared to act immediately. Resuscitation is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths.

The chest compressions ensure a small but crucial supply of blood to the heart and brain. Rescue breaths ensure a minimum supply of oxygen in the blood circulation. Resuscitation is also known as CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).

How to Perform Resuscitation

  1. Ask someone to alert the emergency services and tell him to bring an automated electronic defibrillator immediately (when available). Do this yourself if you are alone.
  2. Start with 30 chest compressions.
  3. Then deliver 2 rescue breaths if trained to do so
  4. Alternate 30 chest compressions with 2 rescue breaths. Or alternatively, perform continuous chest compressions without rescue breathing
  5. Do not interrupt the resuscitation. You should only check the casualty again when normal breathing resumes.

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