Our body gets continuous circulation of blood due to the courtesy of a good friend inside our chest called the heart. Cardiac arrest is a situation which happens when our heart is unable to pump blood and stops suddenly for a various number of reasons. Lack of blood circulation and supply to the brain leads to oxygen deprivation which, in turn, can lead to death. However, there is hope. There is a tested and certified medical procedure to attempt to recover from such drastic situations. The procedure is known as CPR, which is short for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. It is a combination of techniques and procedures which includes chest compressions and manual breathing aid to get the heart started again to keep continuing the blood flow throughout the body and delivering oxygen to the brain to avoid potential disasters.

When to perform CPR?

CPR has to be performed immediately when a person is either unconscious, unresponsive, not breathing normally (intermittently gasping for air), and not breathing at all. The first step is to check for pulses, which can be difficult to detect because of reduced blood flow. Only check for 10 seconds to find a pulse, and if you fail to get any, start performing CPR at once.

How to perform CPR?

The first step is to check if the victim is in a risky situation or surrounding or not. If they are on the road or with a possibility of electrocution, first take them to the side of the road or any other safe place where CPR can be performed safely. The first thing is to keep yourself safe from any kind of danger because in order to save a life, the last thing you would want is to get yourself into trouble and making it even worse. Try to get someone nearby to call for emergency medical help. Then check the airway of the victim, if there is any obstruction or not. Gently tilt their head back and chin upwards to straighten the air passage and check if the person is choking or any object is stuck in their mouth or not. Remember not to spend too much time on this step, it is important to administer a CPR at earliest, which can also push out any obstruction in the way.

Initiate CPR –

  • Put both hands together with the heel of one hand on the chest of victim. In this position, perform
    30 chest compressions in quick succession with less than a second gap between two
    compressions. For a better time assumption, imagine the beat of the song ‘Staying Alive’ by Bee
  • Push downwards for about 2 inches and allow the chest to rise up fully before going again. Do not
    press on victims ribs, they may break and cause further damage.
  • After 30 compressions, give 2 rescue breaths. Hold the victim’s nose, lock their lips with your
    mouth and then pass air strongly for one second, two times. For infants, place only 2 fingers on
    the breastbone and press with less force up to 1.5 inches

Recovery position – Once the person starts to breathe again and regains consciousness, they have to be
taken into the recovery position. This is done by sitting on your knees just beside the victim. Then

  • Extend any one of your hands and put them at a right angle (90◦) to their body and bend them by
    the elbow in a natural motion.
  • Gently pick their other hand by the palm with the palm of your hand and put it on the opposite
    cheek (left cheek for the right hand and vice versa).
  • With their both feet flat, pick up the furthest knee upward in a natural bending motion.
    Gently pull the knee towards yourself and their body weight will normally roll them over to one
  • Place the foot which you pulled on the front of the other foot so that a resting position is achieved.
  • Tilt back their head and chin upwards to clear the air passage and check for proper breathing.

Continue CPR –  If the person does not regain consciousness or does not start to breathe, keep continuing
CPR and if there is another person able to perform CPR, take turns and do CPR’s together changing turns
every 2 minutes. This has to be continued until emergency medical help arrives. The next step performed
by them is using an external defibrillator (AED).

Important notes –

  • Always call triple zero “000” (without quotes) for emergency medical help in Australia.
  • CPR is a combination of both chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A
    combination of both must be administered.
  • This life-saving procedure should be learned by everyone, as it may become necessary at any point
    in life. There are many organisations who provide training.

Get training

It is strongly emphasised and highly recommended that every single gets proper training for performing CPR. We all hope that the need for administering this may never occur, but should it become necessary, one should absolutely be prepared. There are many accredited organisations and training companies who provide CPR training with the most comprehensive modules and procedures. These are ideal for getting CPR training and should be done at the earliest, if not done already.