All About CPR

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

When life-threatening situations arise, measures should be taken so that the patient’s life can be saved while preventing or minimizing the extent of damage and possible complications. For that very reason, cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR was made so that people, not only limited to healthcare practitioners, can save the life of another person.

What is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is an emergency management procedure to preserve the brain function through manual means to provide a temporary pumping mechanism to allow blood to circulate throughout the body. However, it should be remembered that though CPR is an important intervention in saving a person’s life, it won’t be enough to revive a person, return normal spontaneous circulation or restart breathing for a person who has gone a cardiac arrest.

What is CPR for?

CPR is indicated for patients who are unresponsive with absent heart sounds and abnormal or absent breathing. CPR provides an external means of helping a patient breathe while also providing a manual circulation for the body since the patient’s heart has stopped functioning.

The main goal of CPR is to restore the circulation of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart – two essential organs that require oxygen in order to function and delivering life-preserving compensation to the body. CPR delays tissue death which gives a window of time to revive a patient while preventing permanent brain damage. Delivering shock to a patient to restart the heart is called “defibrillation” and is usually paired with CPR in order to revive the patient and restore the perfusion throughout the body.

However, it should be noted that not all abnormal heart rhythms can be relieved by defibrillation like asystole and pulseless electrical activity. CPR has two results for the patient, either there is return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) or the patient is declared as dead.

Who can Perform CPR?

Contrary to the belief that only healthcare professionals should perform CPR, anyone who is trained can perform CPR. It is often when people on the street unexpectedly collapse due to cardiac arrest. In those situations when healthcare practitioners are unavailable, knowledge and skills on CPR is crucial in saving a person’s life.

What are the Components of CPR?

CPR is encoded into a three-way chain that is aimed to save the patient’s life. The priorities are circulation, airway and breathing (C-A-B). This chain was previous ordered as A-B-C but it was found out that early initiation of chest compressions is more important that establishing an airway or initiation of intubation.

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