It could happen anytime, you are walking in the park and you notice someone lying on the ground motionless, or you are at the supermarket and you discover someone has collapsed. Knowing CPR would make you more capable to help that person if it is CPR that they need, but before you put into practice your online CPR certification, you may need to determine what first aid they need. There are several drugs that might reduce the initial risk but must consult to a professional.
Since many people may feel they are too busy to attend an actual first aid class, online CPR certification can be a good option to learn at your convenience. But let us get back to the emergency and what you should do.
Your safety is of paramount importance in an emergency. Do not rush to help without ensuring you are safe. Whatever may have caused the person to lose consciousness may affect you too. First, look around and ensure there is no hazard in wait for you.
One instance where you could be at risk is if the person has been electrocuted. If you touch a victim of electrocution while they are still in contact with the electric current, you will be shocked as well. First, turn off the main source of electricity or find something that does not conduct electricity like wood or rubber and then use it to remove the victim from the power source before you can help them.
Another threat to your safety could be criminals lying in wait. If you are driving along a lonely road and see what looks like an unconscious person, you may need to first observe the situation to make sure it is not a trap. That could be a staged emergency to get you to stop and the criminals will jump out to harm you. Sometimes, the best help you can give is to call emergency service to come and deal with the victim.
When CPR is Needed
If you are not in danger, then you could save someone’s life using CPR. The question though is when is it appropriate to give CPR? CPR is given when a person is not breathing and has no pulse or when there is a minimal sign of breathing.
It is therefore important to check for a pulse and breathing before you decide if CPR is necessary. To check for signs of breathing, you can start by observing the person, do you see chest and stomach movement that shows they are breathing? Next, put your cheek close to their nose and feel if the air is blowing against your cheek.
Checking for the pulse, you can feel for a pulse on their wrist or the side of their neck where a major artery is. If there is no pulse or breathing, it is time to start chest compressions.
Here are some instances when CPR may be needed
– If a person has drowned
– If a person is unconscious and there is no sign of breathing or a pulse
– When someone suddenly collapses while clenching their chest
– Unresponsiveness following a drug overdose
– If the victim has been electrocuted
When CPR is Not Needed?
CPR is intended to get a victim to start breathing on their own and to restart the heart. If you find someone unconscious but they have a pulse and they are breathing, then CPR is not needed.
It is also important to note the difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack. When a person has a cardiac arrest, their heart stops beating and they will need CPR. When a person has a heart attack, there is a blockage in blood flow to the heart, but they will not need CPR unless the heart attack results in cardiac arrest.
When to Stop?
Since the purpose of CPR is to get the victim to breathe again or to start the heart, you would stop administering it once the victim shows signs of breathing, for example, a victim who has drowned would begin to cough as the first sign that they are breathing.
If you have called the emergency service, you will need to stop CPR once they have arrived. Let the professionals take over.
We have mentioned the importance of ensuring your safety if at some point the area you are in becomes unsafe, then stop the CPR and ensure your safety first before you can continue with the first aid.
Call for Help
At all times, you should ensure you call the emergency services to alert them of the emergency you are dealing with. Even for a person who does not know about CPR, the emergency team can give you instructions over the phone to assess the need of the victim. They may even be able to give you quick instructions to administer CPR on the victim until they get there. The call for help should be made before you start to give CPR to the victim.