Think You Know CPR? Think Again

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At the start of my volunteering stint with the American Red Cross, I was certified in CPR. When should rescuers switch positions during CPR? There were so many different aspects to learn and dozens of life-saving skills to memorize, it was hard to keep them all straight!

1. Hands-only CPR

This is, in fact, the most important skill to master. The “hands only” technique is what is taught first and foremost to people who have the knowledge of CPR.

2. The Reverse Bag Valve Mouth-to-Mouth

This is another essential skill, and it’s simple to do! Just imagine that you have pumped a lot of air into someone’s body and you’re about to give them mouth-to-mouth. Instead of putting your mouth next to their lips as you normally would, put your mouth over theirs (on their left side) and blow gently into their mouth while they put their lips against yours (on your right side). This creates an air lock; the air will flow in and out of you both until you are ready to breathe again. The next person who has to do CPR can take over from there, and no one is likely to run out of breath. 

3. The One-Minute Chest Compression

If a patient is having a cardiac arrest, it is important for the CPR to continue for at least one minute . (This was recently changed from two minutes of continuous chest compressions.) The reason for this is that each time someone has a cardiac arrest, they might have stopped breathing before they first collapsed. When CPR is started, you’ll need to remember to continue on the field for one minute!

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4. The Infant CPR

This is just a slight variation of the hands-only technique. When giving mouth-to-mouth, if you are looking at an infant, instead of putting your lips next to their lips (on their left), put your lips over theirs (on their right). Otherwise, it works exactly like the regular technique. This is a lifesaving skill for infants as well as adults!

5. The Recovery Sequence

There are approximately 10 different ways that someone can lose consciousness and start having a cardiac arrest. The first stage of a cardiac arrest, known as the “silent period”, is when the victim starts going into cardiac arrest. This might last for just seconds or it could last for minutes, depending on how severe the person’s asthma was (and how often they used their inhaler).

Once the silent period has ended and someone collapses while still unconscious and not breathing on their own yet, they have come out of this first stage. The next phase of a cardiac arrest usually has them stop breathing on their own and start to go into shock, which means that they can’t get enough oxygen to survive without regular CPR. This can last anywhere from just seconds to up to 40 minutes!

6. The Drowning CPR

This is just like hands-only CPR, but it can also be used on a victim who has been underwater and wasn’t breathing before they were pulled out of the water. As soon as someone begins to go into cardiac arrest while underwater and not breathing on their own yet, they have come out of this first stage. The next phase of a cardiac arrest usually has them stop breathing on their own and start to go into shock, which means that they can’t get enough oxygen to survive without regular CPR. This can last anywhere from just seconds to up-to 40 minutes!

7. The Choking CPR

In order to stop the person from choking for air, put your hands around them on their back, so that one hand is over their shoulder blades and the other hand is just below their armpit. Fit as much of your hand into the middle of them as possible. As soon as you have done this, you should press down firmly on the center of their back, which can be found just under a person’s last ribs (on their left side).

8. Nursing Care

After you have performed CPR on someone until they are breathing again and they no longer need it, then you should give them some support. Make sure to sit them up, or if that isn’t possible because of the situation, then lay someone down. After you’ve done this, take it slowly (don’t make sudden movements or sudden movements with their head) and clear the airway by administering a proper amount of oxygen into the victim’s mouth via an inhaler. Tell them again how much they owe you for saving their life!

9. CPR Rescued

This is a special technique that can be used in certain situations, where CPR isn’t necessary. Depending on the situation and what could have triggered it, you could use this technique to revive a person who is still alive (just barely alive) but has stopped breathing on their own.

10. The Adult Cardiac Arrest

This is just like the “adult CPR” technique, but for adults! There are many different ways in which someone can lose consciousness and have a cardiac arrest.

Conclusion:

You saved someone’s life and you can’t wait to get your free CPR certification card and start saving lives! Congratulations on being such a good person, and you have now been certified in CPR by the American Red Cross. You now have a major responsibility: your job is to save lives! So what are you waiting for? Go out there and start saving lives already!

Have a great day!

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