Currently there is and has been an advert running on television regarding Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The advert features the actor and former footballer Vinnie Jones and is run by the British Heart Foundation. The advert poses a number of questions regarding the correct procedure for carrying out CPR and i will try and answer some of the questions.
CPR is a technique which should be carried out on a casualty who is unconscious and not breathing. The main purpose of CPR is to keep the casualties vital organs (in the torso and the head) supplied with oxygenated blood until the emergency services or a suitably trained individual can attempt to re-start the casualty’s heart using a defibrillator. The UK Resuscitation Council recommend that a first aider should carry out resuscitation and chest compressions on a casualty. The breaths will provide oxygen to the lungs, whilst the compressions (pushing down on the casualty’s chest) will manually pump the heart and keep the casualty’s circulation going. The ratio of breaths to compressions should be 30 compressions to 2 breaths, and this particular ratio is applicable across all age ranges from babies through children and up to adults.
When carrying out breaths, the most common form of resuscitation is mouth to mouth. Were the first aider pinches the casualty’s nose so that no air can escape once the lungs are inflated. Then place your mouth over the casualty’s mouth so that there are no gaps and then give a normal inflation (do not over inflate as this may lead to other problems). After inflation, let go of the nose and turn your face away from the casualty and look along the chest. Repeat this technique once more.
When carrying out compressions on a casualty place the heel of your hand near the bottom of the casualty’s sternum (breast bone) and make sure your fingers are pointed at right angles to the sternum. Then place your other hand on top of your first hand and try to make sure you’re arms are vertical above the casualty’s chest. Then press down on the casualty’s chest whilst keeping the elbows locked. 30 compressions need to be done in quick succession at a rate of approximately 120 beats per minute.
Repeat the cycle of 30 compressions to 2 breaths until the emergency services arrive and take over.
The Vinnie Jones advert is aimed at members of the public who are not first aid trained and it is suggested that they focus on solely doing continuous compressions, rather than attemting breaths and compressions.