CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is arguably the single most important element of any first aid course that you may take in order to help people around you.

CPR can prove to be extremely useful for a broad array of medical emergencies ranging from drowning, all the way to myocardial infarction (heart attack). It can be used in an emergency situation where a patient’s heart has stopped, or where a patient cannot breathe on their own. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that everyone should always begin CPR with a series of powerful chest compressions.

As a matter of fact, it is far better to take charge and actually do something rather than looking on helplessly as a bystander in a critical emergency.  Here it is very important to understand that being fearful of your own lack of ability at making a difference should not hinder your CPR efforts.

After all, the person has already stopped breathing and taking charge and performing CPR can actually mean the difference between life and death!

o   Why Perform CPR?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation helps to keep oxygen-rich blood flowing to the vital organs of the body. Most importantly, it makes sure that blood continues flowing to the brain. In a life or death situation, it can keep a person alive and also prevent irreparable brain damage. This is why CPR is considered to be the ideal treatment option until EMR (emergency medical response) teams arrive on the scene or the patient’s heart rate and breathing become normal again.

Once the human heart stops beating, the lack of oxygen-rich blood flowing to the brain can easily cause permanent brain damage within a few minutes. In case the patient does not resume breathing, they will not be expected to survive beyond eight to ten minutes at most.

This is why it is so important to take a duly accredited CPR and first-aid training course. But even if you are completely untrained, you should still try chest compressions on your own. However, if time permits, it is better to call 911 and allow the operator to guide you through the process.

o   CPR Checklist

Before performing CPR, you should keep the following checklist in mind:

  • Is the patient fully conscious or is he unconscious?
  • If the person ‘appears’ to be unconscious, then you should tap or shake his shoulder and ask him if he is fine in a loud voice
  • If there is no response and you are alone, then call 911 and begin administering emergency CPR.
  • Continue to do so till help arrives or the patient starts breathing normally again
  • If an AED (emergency defibrillator) is available, follow the instructions and administer an electric shock (if required)

o   Conclusion

It is always better to take a CPR and first aid course so that you are always prepared to meet any eventuality and can take charge of the situation in an instant.