CPR is a technique that can save life during situations that compromise a person’s cardiopulmonary system. This can be stopping of the heartbeat or when the patient has some breathing difficulties. The American Heart Association advises that everyone, including medical personnel and untrained bystanders start the CPR process with chest compressions. Even if you are afraid that your abilities and CPR knowledge is not a 100$ complete, doing something is by far much better than doing nothing. This can save the patient’s life.

Recommendations from American Heart Association

  • Untrained: The AHA recommends that CPR untrained people should provide just the hands- only CPR. This means providing uninterrupted chest compressions for about 100 compressions per minute until paramedic help is available. You don’t have to do rescue breathing technique.
  • Trained and ready: If you have undertaken CPR training and have complete confidence in your abilities, start with the chest compressions first rather than doing rescue breathing or checking the person’s airway. Start the CPR technique with thirty chest compressions and then give rescue breaths after checking the airway.
  • Trained but rusty: sometimes, you might be trained in CPR but you might not be very confident in your ability to undertake the procedure. In this case, just perform the chest compressions only.

This advice is only applicable to infants, children and adults but not to newborns. CPR boosts circulation of blood to brain and vital organs before a more definitive treatment is offered to restore the normal heart rhythm. Stopping of the heart can result in brain damage due to lack of oxygen and the patient can die within 10 minutes. As such, taking a CPR course can help save a person’s life. To remember the steps of CPR, always spell CAB as described below.

CAB acronym for CPR

C- Circulation: Chest compressions helps in restoration of blood circulation and this is the first procedure to undertake. Start by placing the patient on a firm flat surface on his back and kneel next to his shoulders and neck. Push straight on his chest using your upper body weight for about 100 chest compressions in a minute. Make sure that someone calls emergency help as you continue with the chest compressions. If you are trained in CPR, perform rescue breathing after checking the airway.

A- Airway: After performing the chest compressions, clear the person’s airway. Check for signs of normal breathing such as listening for breathing sounds and looking for chest motion. If you are trained in CPR, provide mouth to mouth breathing and then continue with the chest compressions.

B- Breathing: Finally, breathe for the person. You can provide rescue breathing either mouth to nose or mouth to mouth depending on the situation at hand. Be prepared to give 2 rescue breaths until the chest rises and follow this with thirty chest compressions. Repeat the entire cycle until circulation is restored or until professional help arrives.