Accidents can happen anywhere and at times it might impair or stop breathing or circulation within the body. If such a situation persists for more than a few minutes then the organs of the body including the brain might suffer permanent damage. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is administered as a part of first aid to revive the victim while trying to normalize breathing and circulation till further medical help reaches the spot.
Following are some of the situations in which administration of CPR may be necessary.
• Near Drowning: A person who has suffered a near drowning experience must be first pulled to safety and then immediately laid on the back and kept still. Remember that any unnecessary movement can cause further injuries. If the victim is not breathing look for any object lodged in the throat and remove it. Then tilt the head back and breathe in while pinching the nose shut. If there is no pulse then begin CPR immediately. Once the victim stabilizes, remove the wet clothing and cover with blankets or dry clothes to keep the body warm. A medical team must be called to take the person for further treatment.
• Electrocution: A person might accidentally come in contact with a live wire which can lead to burns, unconsciousness and even paralysis. The first thing you must do is to switch of the current to the wire and then try to separate it from the victim with the help of a wooden stick or non-conducting material. Lay the victim on the back and check for signs of breathing and pulse. Call emergency immediately and proceed to perform CPR. Once the victim stabilized then water can be applied on the burns.
• Smoke: A person can be caught in a fire and end up inhaling too much smoke. The victim must be first taken away from the smoky area to a place where there is fresh air. Once in a safe place you must check for breathing and pulse and accordingly proceed with CPR. The fire-fighters may have oxygen masks, supplemental oxygen devices or Automated External Defibrillator (AED) which can be used for the process. Also remember to tilt the head and push the chin up to ensure the throat remains open.
• Choking: A foreign object stuck in the throat can lead to choking where the victim may not be able to talk and even cough. The Heimlich maneuver cannot be performed on unconsciousness individuals, in such cases you will have to use CPR if required. At the same time you must try to sweep the mouth to get the object out. Children have small wind pipes and might require chest compression to dislodge the object.
Other cases which can require CPR include heart attacks or strokes, road accidents, poisoning, injuries at workplace and even cases of allergic reactions. After calling for emergency assistance you should try to revive and stabilize the victim. Remember that even if the victim seems to be alright after CPR professionals must be called to check for trauma or related issues.
Author: Greg Garner
For more information, please visit our cpr website.
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