If someone stops breathing there’s no time for hesitating. The earlier victims receive aid, the greater their chances of survival. The recent tragedy in Bakersfield, California has highlighted the importance of CPR procedures.
The Importance of CPR
Not too long ago, 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless collapsed at her home in Glenwood Gardens (an elderly living facility). The emergency services were contacted and the operator asked the Glenwood Garden employee, who was on the phone, to perform CPR until the ambulance arrived. But, the employee couldn’t due to company policy. The 911 operator begged the employee to see if there was anyone else that could perform CPR. There wasn’t. Unfortunately, Bayless later passed away.
It’s possible that CPR could have saved Lorraine Bayless. CPR is used to save countless victims who are suffering from a heart attack as well as those that have stopped breathing due to choking, drowning, electric shock, severe allergic reaction, stroke, or suffocating. This knowledge is important because the more trained people we have in the world, the safer we’ll all be.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was created in 1960. It’s a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions. “CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to ‘buy time’ until normal heart function is restored.” Without CPR, a victim may experience brain damage within four to 10 minutes of their heart-stopping. And they may become brain dead after 10 minutes.
How to Do CPR
The three steps of CPR are circulation, airway, and breathing (CAB). You restore blood circulation with chest compressions (pushing their chest with your hands and the weight of your upper body). Then you check for normal breathing or clear their airway and breathe for the person (mouth-to-mouth), maintaining a cycle of 30 compressions followed by two breaths.
Knowledge of CPR is an important skill for us all to learn, but it’s especially important for babysitters, coaches, lifeguards, parents, teachers, and other such professionals. Continuous practice is crucial for this procedure. So, if you already learned CPR experts suggest taking a refresher course every year or two.
If you’ve never learned CPR you should definitely consider it. There are workbooks and DVDs that can help. Most courses take only a few hours and you’ll learn important techniques from experienced instructors. If you’re looking for a CPR course consider contacting your local Red Cross, American Heart Association center, health department, hospital, or health organization to see if they offer classes or have further information.