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
- 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.
- Start with 30 chest compressions.
- Then deliver 2 rescue breaths if trained to do so
- Alternate 30 chest compressions with 2 rescue breaths. Or alternatively, perform continuous chest compressions without rescue breathing
- Do not interrupt the resuscitation. You should only check the casualty again when normal breathing resumes.