Important Information You Need to Know About CPR

CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is an important skill that can mean the difference between life and death. The procedure aims at controlling blood flow after a cardiac arrest. It's the number one cause of death in the US, with 350,000 and more people suffering from it every year. What's more disturbing is, without CPR or other procedures, a person can die within eight to 10 minutes after a cardiac arrest.

Aim of CPR

When someone suffices from a cardiac arrest, one's heart stops so there's no blood flowing to the person's brain and other internal organs. It's essential that the brain and the heart continue to receive blood and oxygen. A disruption in the blood flow even for just 3-4 minutes can end in brain damage. The aim of CPR is to ensure that there's a continuous supply of blood and oxygen, even if it's minimal, to the body's organs to avert permanent damage.

History of CPR

The development of CPR is historically credited to Friedrich Maass, a German physician, who's said to have been the first to successfully resuscitate a person via chest compressions in 1892. His success opened the door to more improvements in the procedure. The 1900's saw the rapid development of CPR and its importance in saving lives. In 1956, James Elam and Peter Safar invented the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and this method was officially adopted by the US military as the way to revoke unresponsive individuals in 1957. The CPR that we know today, with the combined chest compressions and rescue breaths , was developed in 1960 and the American Heart Association started programs to introduce this life saving skill.

Survival Rates

The fast application of CPR can increase a victim's survival chances by as much as 50%. Of course, CPR does not cure the cause of the attack but it does give the victim the chance to receive interventions like cardiac defibrillation or surgery. Bear in mind that CPR is not limited to situations like cardiac arrest or drowning. Other situations that may call for CPR intervention are choking, drug overdose, electric shock and severe allergic reactions.

Traditional CPR

This method of CPR uses chest compressions in tandem with rescue breaths. Chest compressions are done at 100 beats per minute. One tip the American Heart Association brave students was to perform the compressions to the rhythm of the "Staying Alive" by the BeeGees to get the right compression rate.

Hands-Only CPR

Hands-only CPR is a new technique that the American Heart Association is pushing in the hopes that it will encourage bystanders to administrator CPR in emergency situations. It involves continuous chest compressions that are hard and fast but without the mouth-to mouth resuscitation. Most of us are unduly afraid of giving CPR because of the risk of infectious transmission. However, this new method can encourage people to help.

CPR Training

Numerous federal and private agencies like the American Heart Association and the Red Cross schools CPR to around 30 million people every year. However, training for CPR should be continuous as knowledge and skills fade as early as 3 months after learning it.