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CPR is for Everyone

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There is a very good chance that you know someone with heart disease. It is also quite likely that you will personally witness a heart attack in your lifetime. Without Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), a person with a heart attack may have as little as a 1 in 20 chance of survival. If you perform CPR until a properly equipped team from the Enid Fire Department (or your local Emergency Medical Service) arrives, that person's chance of survival may increase to as much as 1 in 4. While CPR is only indicated in the most severe type of heart attack, you can clearly see the tremendous payoff in learning this life-saving procedure.

Do you know what to do for a heart attack or choking victim?

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is a simple skill that is easily learned in a one session class sponsored by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. In CPR, mouth-to-mouth breathing and rhythmic chest compressions are used to supply oxygen to the brain and other vital organs of a person whose heart has stopped pumping. This can buy up to 20 minutes of time until Advanced Life Support measures can be administered by highly skilled EFD Paramedics. Worldwide, in thousands of cases every year, CPR from bystanders is credited as making the difference between life and death.

The sooner CPR is started, the greater the chances for survival. Unfortunately, many people who have been trained in CPR are reluctant to administer it for fear of doing it wrong. It is important to remember that when indicated: Good CPR is better than bad CPR, but even bad CPR is a million times -better- than no CPR at all!

Many people express a concern about the risk of HIV / AIDS and other infectious diseases when performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This is an understandable concern which has to be weighed in each case individually. Most layperson CPR however, is performed on a close friend or loved one. The background health history and risk factors will usually be known to the rescuer. Abolishing myths and minimizing any actual or perceived risks associated with CPR is a core element in most training classes.

CPR can not only be used when heart attacks strike, but may save victims of drowning, electrocution, suffocation and drug overdose. CPR not only saves lives, but provides peace of mind during and after an emergency. People often feel helpless when they witness a heart attack, but with CPR training, you will know exactly what to do. Regardless of the outcome, you will know that every possible measure had been taken to assist the person in need. You are likely to find this reassuring during what may be an otherwise difficult time.

It's simple to learn. Both the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross offer CPR and First Aid Training. The cost is minimal, and most training can be completed in a single session!

Five Steps of CPR. Make sure you and the scene are safe:

  • ASSESS: Shout and tap or gently shake. If victim is unresponsive, call 9-1-1.
  • POSITION: Place victim on their back, remove pillows from behind the head, open the airway using head-tilt/chin-lift method.
  • CHECK FOR BREATHING: Look, Listen, and Feel for five seconds. If victim is not breathing, give two slow breaths and check for any signs of body movement or circulation.
  • START COMPRESSIONS: If no body movement or circulation is detected.
  • RECHECK BREATHING and CIRCULATION: After one minute, if there is still no pulse, continue cycles uninterrupted until medical help arrives.

Note: If for whatever reason you are uncomfortable with mouth-to-mouth breathing, at the very least do chest compressions until help arrives.

Adult Child Infant
Hand Position Two hands on lower half of sternum One hand on lower half of sternum Two fingers on lower half of sternum (one finger width below nipple line)
Compress 1-1/2 to 2 inches 1 to 1-1/2 inches 1/2 to 1 inch
Breathe Slowly until chest gently rises Slowly until chest gently rises Slowly until chest gently rises
Cycle 15 compressions and 2 breaths 5 compressions and 1 breath 5 compressions and 1 breath
Rate 15 compressions in about 10 seconds 5 compressions in about 3 seconds 5 compressions in about 3 seconds

First Aid For Choking

CONSCIOUS (Awake) ADULT: If the victim cannot cough, speak, or breathe at all, have someone call 9-1-1. Stand behind and wrap your arms around the victim. Place the thumb side of your fist on the middle of their abdomen, just above their navel. Grasp that fist with your other hand and give quick forceful upward thrusts into their abdomen until the object is coughed up or the victim becomes unconscious.

UNCONSCIOUS (Not Awake) ADULT: Have someone call 9-1-1. Position the victim on their back. Remove all pillows from behind the head. Open their airway using the head-tilt/chin-lift method. Attempt to give breaths. If unsuccessful, reattempt the head-tilt/chin-lift procedure and blow more forcefully. You may be able to blow past the object. If air won't go in, place the heel of one hand against the middle of their abdomen, just above the navel. Give up to five abdominal thrusts. Then, lift their jaw and tongue and sweep out their mouth. Tilt head back, lift chin, and give breaths again. Repeat breaths, thrusts, and sweeps until breaths go in. Once breaths go in, check victims breathing and pulse. If there is no breathing and no pulse, start CPR.