Resuscitation may be necessary in the case of different emergencies especially if no pulse, heartbeat or breathing is noted in a victim. This is true in accidents including but not limited to near-drowning, suffocation, smoke inhalation among others. Knowing the first aid for these tight situations can help save lives. An in-depth knowledge in performing CPR is also proven useful in such situations.
First Aid: Resuscitation
Resuscitation involves both breathing and circulation. Follow the acronym DRABC, also known as the patients “lifeline”. To recall: DRABC is short for Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing and Circulation.
1. Danger: Assess the scene for danger for yourself, the patient and others around you.
- Are there fallen electricity wires that could cause electrocution?
- Do you need to extinguish a fire before you can reach the injured patient?
- Is it likely that a passing car cannot see you and may collide with you or the patient?
- Always take a moment to stop, think, and then act to protect yourself first. You cannot help others if you endanger yourself.
2. Response: Establish if the patient is responsive or unresponsive.
- Ask “Are you all right”?
- Tap the patient on the shoulder firmly, but do not shake them.
- Observe the patient for signs of response.
- If the patient is unresponsive, call for help first, then move on to the ABC’s: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation.
If they are responsive, ask if you can assist them. Say “Can I help you”? If no response is given to this question, assume that they need help and give it.
If the patient is responsive, make them comfortable and call for help.
3. Airway: Establish if the patient’s airway is clear of debris such as vomit, blood, or foreign objects which can prevent the patient from breathing normally.
Leave the unresponsive patient on their back. If they are not already on their back, move them carefully onto their back. Take care not to move their neck or spine. Ask others for assistance to immobilize their neck and spine.
Physically check their mouth for foreign objects, and remove anything that may block their airway.
Open their airway by placing one hand on their forehead and gently tilting their head back, gently lifting their chin so their neck is extended.
4. Breathing: Check to see if the patient is breathing. Look, listen and feel.
Place your cheek close to the patient’s open mouth. From this position, look for their chest rising and falling. Listen for the sound of them breathing in or out. See if you feel a breath on your cheek. Check for breathing for ten seconds.
If the patient is breathing, place them in the recovery position, monitor signs of life closely until help arrives.
If the patient is NOT breathing, give two rescue breaths to prompt breathing.
Rescue Breaths: Pinch the patient’s nose so air cannot escape and seal their open mouth with yours.
Give two long, slow breaths. Each breath should be one second long. Watch to see their chest rise as the breath fills their chest. Check again for response. If the patient is not responsive, begin CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, see below).
5. Circulation: Administer rescue breaths and chest compressions to try and re-establish blood circulation and respiration.
Give 30 rapid chest compressions, then two rescue breaths until medical help arrives or the patient recovers.
Chest Compressions: Position the palm of your hand in the centre of the patient’s chest- equally distant between their two nipples. Interlock the fingers of your hands and keep your elbows locked as you press down rapidly 30 times.
Rescue Breaths: For each 30 compressions, tilt the patients head back and give two, one second rescue breaths.
CPR: the 3 STEPS
1. CALL: Check for victim unresponsiveness and call for an ambulance if none is found. The emergency dispatcher can assist you in instructions if you don’t know them.
2. PUMP: If the victim still does not breathe or move as normal, begin chest compressions by pushing down in the centre of the chest 2:30, 2 inches 30 times. Pump hard and fast in a rate that’s faster than once per second or a .001 of a minute.
3. BLOW: tilt head back, lift chin, pinch nose and cover mouth with yours. Blow until you see the chest rise, 2 breaths, each taking a second. Check on intervals if breathing.
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