CPR Guidelines

How do perform CPR, guidelines, requirements and where to find a class on CPR.

This is a brief description of giving CPR in your community. Please keep in mind this is not a certification and does not give you the right to perform CPR if you have not been properly trained. This is merely a brief description of what is involved. Although the Good Samaritan law protects citizens from legal actions against the helper, it does not protect the helper if the helper performs acts they are not properly trained on.

When finding a person that appears to be unconscious the most important thing to do is to establish if the person is unconscious or sleeping. We can do that by shouting to the person, tapping them on the shoulder or if barefoot trying to tickle their feet. It is very important NOT to move any victim that is found unconscious, and since we don't know if they are or not, we don't want to move anyone we find in this state. While establishing the condition of consciousness of the victim it is also very important to activate the EMS chain, in that a bystander should be sent to call 911 or your local emergency number. Once it has been established that there is no response from the victim, place your ear closer enough to the mouth of the patient to confirm whether the patient is breathing or not. This technique is called look, listen and feel. You are looking at the chest of the victim to see if it is rising and falling, listening to hear possible breath sounds, and feeling on the side of your face for breathing.

If the person is breathing it is still important for rescuers to be called to investigate the nature of the illness or injury to the victim. If the person is not breathing or you cannot tell if the person is breathing, gently try to position the victim on his/her back. In doing so make sure the back and the neck are supported at all time, a bystander may be able to help with this procedure. Once the victim is on their back place your hand on their forehead and the tip of your index and middle finger on their chin, and gently tilt their head back so the nose of the victim is pointing to the sky. Again it is important to do the look listen and feel technique. Sometimes when victims have internal injured they may not breath properly on their side or stomach. If you feel verify breathing stay with the victim until further help arrives. When the help arrives it is critical to tell them how you found the victim and any other evidence you gathered while in the victims company. If the victim is not breathing which head is tilted and chin is lifted carefully open the victims mouth and give two slow breaths, which the victims chest as you do this to see a rise and fall indicating that the breaths you gave have gone into the victims lungs. After these breaths are given, again check for breathing and this time check for a pulse in the neck. If the victim is not breathing but does have a pulse, continue to give one slow breath about every five seconds for one minute and then check pulse again. Provided the victim is not breathing and has no pulse CPR can be started. It is important to be sure that neither breathing nor a pulse is found, as CPR can severely injury if not kill a person.

To start CPR find the notch where the lower ribs meet the breastbone with the tips of your index finger and middle finger. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone just above the fingers that found the notch. Place your other hand on top on the hand that is on the breastbone and interlock your fingers. When giving compression use the heel of your hand to apply pressure. At the same time lock your shoulders in place directly above the victim's body. And chest compression can be started; compress the victim's chest 15 times and then go to the head, tilt it and lift the chin like before and give two slow breaths. Check for a pulse and resume chest compression only if there is not pulse! This must be done until another bystander that knows CPR can relieve you or EMS arrives.

CPR can only be stopped once it is started if the following criteria is met, another trained person takes over, EMS personnel arrive and take over care of the patient, you are too tired to continue, or something around you are the victim an unsafe place for you to be. With all those considered CPR is something that can help a person in need and hurt a person not in need, so as they say if you are not in it for he long haul don't bother. For more information on CPR and classes contact your local firehouse, college or American Red Cross chapter.

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