The Cooper Institute
 

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH

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CPR Tips

Posted in
Fit Tips

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2017

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was first developed in 1960.  The purpose of CPR is to maintain some degree of the hearts’ pumping ability following a cardiac arrest until expert medical assistance arrives. Cardiac arrest is a dire situation where the heart suddenly stops beating, and is best thought of as an ‘electrical’ problem in the hearts conductive system. The victim becomes unresponsive almost immediately and typically stops breathing as well. Unless treatment is administered within the first few minutes, (i.e. CPR and Automated External Defibrillator), death will quickly occur. Cardiac arrest is very common; according to the American Heart Association (www.heart.org), more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. annually. Since 70% of these occur in the home, the victim is typically a friend or a relative.  

Initially it was thought that only physicians should be trained in CPR. However, in the late 1960’s organizations such as the American Red Cross requested that standardized training and performance standards be developed so that non-physicians could also administer CPR. Since 1970, countless individuals worldwide have received CPR certification; this in turn has saved many lives.  

While the procedures for CPR have been modified over the years, the overall goal remains the same. After confirming that the victim is nonresponsive and does not have a pulse, instruct someone to call 911 and instruct someone else to find and bring the nearest AED to the site. By immediately beginning chest compressions at the rate of 100-120 times per minute (about twice per second), the heart will maintain some degree of pumping ability so that oxygen will be supplied to the brain and other vital organs. If an AED is available and does not detect normal electrical activity in the heart, the device will administer a shock to the victim to help restore a normal heartbeat. So, for the past several years CPR training has been accompanied by AED training.

In the video that accompanies this text, we present several different scenarios that you may encounter:

Scenario 1: Pulse check.  The first two pictures are still screen shots; the video then shows the actual procedure for performing a pulse check. While you don’t want to rush this, you should be able to decide whether or not the person has a pulse within 5 seconds or so.  CPR should be performed if a person has no pulse. Every moment matters – if you don’t find a pulse after a few seconds, begin performing compressions.

Scenario 2: Shake and shout. The victim is nonresponsive, but is breathing and has a pulse. While they do not need CPR at that specific time, call 911 immediately and continue to monitor them until emergency medical help arrives. Instruct someone to find and bring an AED to the scene in the event that cardiac arrest subsequently occurs.

Scenario 3: Chest pain. The victim is awake, their heart is still beating.  While they do not need CPR at that specific time, they may be having a heart attack. Call 911 immediately, and ask someone to find and bring an AED to the scene because sometimes a heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest. Be prepared to spring into action with CPR/AED if the victim collapses, is nonresponsive, and does not have a pulse.    

Scenario 4: Shake and shout. Some comic relief to brighten your day!

Scenario 5: Proper positioning of victim. In this video, it has already been established that the victim is nonresponsive and does not have a pulse. It’s very important to remember that chest compressions are much more effective when the victim is lying on a firm surface (i.e. the floor instead of a couch). 

Scenario 6: Get others involved. Once you establish that the victim is nonresponsive and does not have a pulse, instruct one person to call 911 and another person to get the nearest AED.  Begin chest compressions immediately. Notice that the victim is lying on a firm surface. Compressions should be administered at approximately 100 beats per minute. Compressions here are slowed down for demonstration purposes only.

Important Note: Whenever we are showing chest compressions in the videos, they are being done very gently because the ‘victim’ is just role-playing.  In the event that you need to perform CPR on a real victim, chest compressions must be done forcefully in order to be effective! Compressions should be administered at approximately 100 beats per minute. Compressions here are slowed down for demonstration purposes only.


References

http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/AboutCPRFirstAid/HistoryofCPR/UCM_475751_History-of-CPR.jsp

http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/AboutCPRFirstAid/CPRFactsAndStats/UCM_475748_CPR-Facts-and-Stats.jsp