With Restart A Heart day just around the corner, find out why you should learn how to perform CPR. Restart A Heart Day occurs every year on 16th October. The purpose of this day is to to raise awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and to teach people the life-saving skill of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
What is CPR?
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a simple skill that everyone, even children should acquire. You never know when you might need to use it to save the life of a relative, friend, colleague or stranger. CPR helps to pump blood around the person's body when their heart can't.
CPR is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. By performing chest compressions and rescue breaths, you take over the role of the person's heart and lungs, pumping blood and oxygen around their body. The guidance on CPR was updated due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is advised to now perform hands only CPR. Performing chest compressions only (hands only) still benefits the casualty during the time it takes the emergency services to arrive. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Reasons to Learn CPR
- CPR is easy to learn
CPR is carried out in just a few simple steps. By learning these steps, you'll feel more confident to step in and help in an emergency.
- You could save a life
The average ambulance response time in urban areas is 11 minutes. Delivering CPR in an emergency during this time ensures the casualty has the best chance of survival.
- CPR and a shock from a defibrillator is the only definitive treatment for SCA
Sudden Cardiac Arrest happens to anyone, at any time or place. According to the Resuscitation Council, there are approximately 200 SCA cases in the UK every day. Just 1 in 10 people survive a cardiac arrest. This is often due to a lack of quick and effective treatment. When CPR and defibrillation is delivered within 3-5 minutes of the cardiac arrest taking place, the chance of survival is increased from 6%-74%. Knowing CPR gives you the ability to make a life-saving difference in an emergency situation.
Importance of CPR
For every minute that goes by without treatment following a cardiac arrest, a person in SCA loses 10% of their chance of survival. Without immediate treatment, 90-95% of cardiac arrests are fatal.
Just 46% of Sudden Cardiac Arrest casualty’s receive CPR from a bystander. Just 22% of people in the UK would feel confident enough to provide CPR on a stranger.
The reasons bystanders have given for not providing CPR include;
- Skills not being up to date (28%)
- CPR is too complicated (24%)
- A lack of confidence (18%)
How to perform CPR
Ensure you are in a safe space and that the emergency services have been called.
To carry out chest compressions, follow these simple steps:
- Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person's chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
- Position yourself with you shoulders above your hands.
- Using your body weight, press straight down by 5-6cm or 2-2.5inches on their chest.
- Repeat these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times a minute until an ambulance arrives.
When practicing your compression technique, you may want to look for songs with the ideal beats per minute. This includes the popular 'Stayin' Alive' by The Bee Gees.
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