Heart disease is a leading cause of death not only in the United States but also in different parts of the world. Every year, about 300,000 Americans die from different types of heart diseases, the most common of which is heart attack or the disruption of electrical rhythm in the heart.
Also called ventricular fibrillation, heart attack can be treated but it needs an application of electric shock to the chest. This is called defibrillation. Brain death will occur if there is no defibrillator available. However, you may buy time by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Needless to say, knowing how to perform CPR can help save a life one day.
Importance Of CPR
Giving CPR to a person who is in cardiopulmonary arrest (no heartbeat or breathing), the greater is the chance of resuscitating that person successfully. Through this method, you will be able to keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and heart until the defibrillator arrives or until the person is brought to the hospital. When you find a person whom you believe is in attack, shake gently the victim and ask if he/she is okay. If the person doesn't respond to either voice or touch, either call 911 yourself or ask someone to call 911 immediately.
After that, check if the person is breathing normally by opening the mouth of the person. Tilt the person's head back, lifting the chin using one hand and pushing down the forehead with the other. Put your ear on the victim's mouth to feel or listen to any sounds of breathing.
If you don't hear or feel anything, then you must perform CPR:
1) Place the heel of one hand on the person's center chest, between the nipples.
2) Put the heel of your other hand on top, fingers interlaced.
3) Your shoulders should be positioned directly above your hands, with your elbows locked tightly.
4) While being careful not to break the rib cage, press down your hands frequently at the constant rate of 120 compressions/minute. Coincidentally, that's about the same rhythm as the beat of the song "Stayin' Alive" by Bee Gee's.
5) Keep providing chest compression until emergency personnel arrives.
CPR may be performed on anyone who's older than eight years.
Learning CPR is important for anyone. You never know when medical emergencies may occur. It is a must that you're prepared for whatever urgent situation that may arise. Knowledge in CPR and other emergency procedures can do as much as saving a life of a stranger or a loved one. Of course, the information stated above is not meant to substitute CPR classes. If you have the chance, it would be best to enroll in such a class so that you'll be best prepared for emergencies.