Bystanders using CPR and an AED save up to 30 000 + lives a year. The use of these things together can very often be the difference in life or death of a cardiac event such as sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is the procedure of performing chest compressions and rescue breaths. This keeps oxygen pumping to vital organs until EMS arrives. AED is an Automated External Defibrillator, these are portable machines that can measure a person’s heartbeat and detect if it has stopped, and administer a sock in efforts to restart the heart.
The combination of these two things can raise survival rates from 20% to up to 60% or more.
Using CPR To Save A Life
The success of the CPR does vary from each situation and is not guaranteed however many times, CPR alone or CPR with an AED can save the person’s life, and should be attempted if possible.
Performing CPR and using an AED is very easy to do.
There are reports of children successfully saving lives by performing chest compressions (see examples here) with little actual training.
AEDs are very user-friendly. They come with easy to follow directions, units such as the Zoll AEDs we distribute provide CPR assistance with a built-in technology that can sense the depth and rate of your compressions and has audio prompts and an easy to read screen that can provide feedback and advice such as push harder, on the CPR.
How Do You Perform CPR?
Before starting First Aid & CPR, assess that the scene is safe enough for you to do so without putting yourself or the patient in additional risk.
911 – AED – CPR
It is essential for 911 to be called immediately.
If possible assign someone to call 911 and retrieve the AED as soon as possible.
If you are alone, call 911 first, get the AED and then begin rescue efforts.
The 911 operator will help you with CPR until EMS arrives.
Tap them on the shoulder and ask “Are You Ok?”
- Open Airway. It is ideal for the patient to be lying on their back. Tilt their head slightly to lift the chin.
- Check For Breathing. Listen (for no longer than 10 seconds) for breathing. If the person is not breathing, begin CPR.
If you’re not trained in CPR it is advised to not do the breaths if you’re not already familiar with how to give them. If you are CPR certified or confident in your ability to; then proceed with rescue breaths.
See how to perform rescue breaths below.
Steps Of CPR
- Position. Interlock fingers, Center Of Patients Chest.
Interlock your fingers and place the heel of your hand on the center of their chest, interlock your fingers by placing the heel of your other hand, on top of the other hand. Keep your arms straight, keep your fingers raised so they do not touch the patient.
- Give Compressions.
Compressions should be done with force and speed. Compressions should be 2” deep and done at a pace of 100 compressions a minute. If you are giving rescue breaths, do 30 compressions, and then deliver 2 rescue breaths.
How To Give Rescue Breaths
If you are not familiar already or haven’t been properly trained, it is advised to continue with CPR. If performing breaths follow these instructions.
- Open Airways
Make sure the head is tilted and chin lifted slightly.
- Pinch the nostrils closed with one hand, and support the chin with the other.
- Take a normal breath and place your mouth over theirs, making sure it is sealed so no air gets out.
- Blow into the person’s mouth to make the chest rise, watch it fall. Deliver 2 rescue breaths and then continue with compressions.
Continue CPR until emergency officials arrive, or if the patient starts breathing.
How To Use An AED
If an AED is available, use it before performing CPR.
Many AED units have technology that assists the person with CPR.
- Turn On AED. Follow the included instructions.
- Place Pads On the Chest & Push Analyze
- Administer Shock (If Advised)*
- Begin CPR.
Place the pads according to the AEDs instructions on the chest.
Push the analyze button and let AED read the patient’s heartbeat.
If no heartbeat is detected, the AED will inform you to administer a shock.
If the AED prompts you to, push the shock button.
If no shock is required, the AED will inform you. Begin CPR after use.
Always make sure that you can do this without putting yourself or the patient in further danger. Ensure that the scene is safe from any hazards and that performing CPR won’t further injure the individual. Always call 9-1-1 first (or assign someone to) the operator will assist you in CPR until officials arrive. You do not need to be officially certified to perform CPR on someone, you just need to understand what you are doing, and be able to do it confidently.