Monday, April 15, 2013

CPR Basics: What Every Parent Should Know

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is a procedure consisting of combining chest compressions and rescue breathing (commonly known as mouth to mouth resuscitation). Administering this procedure can help restore the circulation of oxygen-rich blood to the person's brain. This is done when a person isn't breathing or circulating blood sufficiently. A person can suffer permanent brain damage or even death in less than 8 minutes due to a lack of oxygen.
It is of utmost importance that every parent knows how and when to administer CPR correctly. Having this extremely basic skill is particularly useful for a number of reasons. It can also mean the difference between life and death for your child if ever you are faced with an emergency situation.
When to Administer CPR
CPR is most effective if the procedure is done as quickly as possible. However, you should first make sure that there is a need for it. It should only be done when someone isn't breathing or circulating blood effectively. Otherwise, the administering the procedure when there is no need for it can lead to adverse effects. The first thing you should do in an emergency situation would be to determine if it is safe for you to help the person. For instance, if the person was electrocuted, then you should first make sure that the power source has been turned off. This is to ensure that you don't find yourself in the same situation they are in. Once it has been established that it is safe to help the victim, you should then proceed to assess their responsiveness. You need to look for signs of life. Be sure to remember to examine their chest movement, eye openings, as well as sounds coming from their mouths. For adults and older children, this can be done by tapping their shoulder and asking them how they are feeling. In the case of little children and infants, you rubbing their chest will help determine whether they are responsive or not.
Administering CPR
The procedure is easy enough to do. However, it should be stated here that this article is simply for purposes of information and is in no way a replacement of the actual CPR training course. You need to pump down in the center of the victim's chest at a rate of 100 pumps per minute. This is called chest compression. It should be done hard and fast. Pump the chest 30 times then breathe into the person's mouth. Lift the chin so that the head is tilted back. Give the person two breaths then repeat the cycle and continue pumping the chest. Do this until emergency help arrives.
Why Parents Should Know CPR
As a parent, there are a number of emergency situations that you may have to face. Such emergencies would include any of the following:
• Drowning
• Suffocation
• Smoke Inhalation
• Poisoning
• Concussions/Head Trauma caused by falling or other similar accidents
• Suspected Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (S.I.D.S.)
It is crucial for parents to take first aid classes. When the procedure is done correctly, it can restore breathing as well as reestablish blood flow to your child's heart, brain and other organs. This will buy the health care professionals ample time to administer advanced life support.