First Aid

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (C.P.R.)

Everyone may face a situation of cardiac arrest for any reason, either for a colleague at work, a parent or grandparent at home, or rather a totally foreign person falling down all of a sudden in your presence.

Saving a cardiac arrest patient depends on the first person watching the situation. Every single minute matters, the more time passes, the lesser the chances are to save the patient’s life or keep him/her alive.
  • One’s brain and heart cannot bear the cessation of blood and oxygen flow more than six minutes, otherwise permanent brain and heart cell damage occurs.
  • It is worth noting that even in developed countries, an ambulance takes 80-10 minutes to reach the cardiac arrest patient.
  • If bystander CPR is not provided, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival fall 10 percent for every minute of delay. If first aid is not provided in time, the chances of survival will be very slim, if not non-existent
  • C.P.R. Is important to restore oxygenated blood to brain and heart; thus, increasing the chances of the victim’s survival.
Nowadays, it’s become a moral responsibility to extend a helping hand to those in need. An adult person, now, should be well-informed of first aid techniques in order to save other fellow humans. A person’s life - close or far - may be at the hands of those helping him. Rewards for saving a life is not limited only to this world. Rather Almighty Allah reserves manifold rewards in the Hereafter, as Almighty Allah says; “And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely” [5:32]

What is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (C.P.R.)?
 C.P.R. is an emergency procedure that combines resuscitating a person’s heart and lungs. As for pulmonary resuscitation, it happens by forcing the air and oxygen into the lungs through artificial ventilator. On the other hand, cardiac resuscitation is done by compressions on the patient’s chest - the breastbone at the center of the person's chest - to force blood into the vital parts, mainly the brain.

What is Cardiac Arrest?
Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function due to the cessation of blood flow to the lungs, brain and other organs.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • No breathing.
  • No pulse.
What is Pulmonary Dysfunction? 
It refers to the abrupt dysfunction of the lungs - no breathing - due to the cessation of air flow into the lungs; thus, stopping oxygen to reach the lungs and other organs. Symptoms:
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • No breathing.
Causes of Cardiopulmonary Dysfunction:
There are many causes, including:
  • Heart diseases/problems/attack.
  • Respiratory problems/diseases.
  • Defibrillation.
  • Poisoning.
  • Drowning / asphyxiation.
  • Heart arrest.
  • Acute bleeding / blunt force trauma.
All above cases are treated the same way.

How to administer First Aid / CPR?
  1. Secure a safe position when approaching the victim, be careful not to be a victim yourself.
  2. Verify whether the victim can respond or not, try to wake him up by shaking his shoulders while calling him loudly and closely.
  3. Ask every person available for help. Call for help even if you do not see any person around. On receiving help from someone, ask him to stand close till you assess the victim’s case.
  4. Place the victim on the ground or a solid surface and remove any pillows under his head. Be very careful with a victim who lost consciousness due to hitting something.
  5. Make sure that the airway is open, tilt the head and raise chin. To make sure that the airway is open, follow these steps:
    1. Place two fingers of one hand under the victim’s chin and raise his head.
    2. Place the heel of the other hand on the victim’s forehead and press down.
    3. See inside the victim’s mouth to make sure that it is empty of foreign objects, false teeth or mucus.
    4. If the victim suffers from trauma or bruises, do not move his neck, and try open the airway by pressing on the jaws.
  6. For 10 seconds, verify whether the victim breathes or not using the following methods:
    1. Use your eye to notice the chest movement.
    2. Put your ear close to the victim’s mouth and nose to hear his breath.
    3. Sense the victim’s exhalation of your face.
  7. Does he breathe or not?
    1. If yes, put the victim on the rescue position, and wait for ambulance.
    2. If he does not breathe:
      • Ask the person helping you to call the ambulance and return to you as fast as possible. If you have no one, go and call the ambulance yourself.
      • Give 2 rescue breaths slowly using the technique called the kiss of life every 1.5-2 seconds. Check that the chest rises and falls between the first and second rescue breaths.
  8. If you're well-trained, check to see if there is a pulse within 10 seconds, as follows:
    • Check the larynx (Adam's apple) using two fingers of one hand.
    • Pass both fingers through the victim's carotid artery for pulse. If trained, try to find any sign of life in the victim.
  9. Is there any sign of life or heart pulse?
    1. If yes, keep trying to save the victim by giving 1 rescue breath every five seconds till the ambulance arrives.
    2. If no, please do the following:
      • Compress the victim’s chest to resuscitate his heart - 15 compressions as follows:
      • Check the outer limits of the victim’s lower rib by your hands.
      • Track the lower ribs’ limits till your fingers meet at the victim’s breastbone.
      • Place your middle finger - of the hand vis a vis the victim’s legs - of the breastbone, then put your point finger next to it.
      • Replace both fingers with the heel of your hand on the victim’s breastbone.
      • Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
      • Position yourself with your shoulders above your hands. Keep your elbows straight, using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down.
      • Compress the chest approximately 4-5 centimeters at a rate of 80-100 compressions a minute
  10.  Give 2 more rescue breaths. Continue with cycles of 15 chest compressions to resuscitate the heart and 2 rescue breaths for the lungs, then check pulse.
If no pulse, keep the rescue procedure till the ambulance arrives, while checking the pulse every few minutes.

Last Update : 27 May 2019 11:08 AM
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