How To Perform CPR

This is an essay written by one of our 2014 nursing scholarship winners, Janelle Oca.

Oxygen. A basic yet essential element that provides us with the capability to breathe and survive every day. Breathing is effortless but what happens when we stop taking in oxygen? Without it, brain damage and ultimately death are inescapable for anyone who falls victim to needing cardio pulmonary resuscitation. That’s why it is vital that everyone knows how to provide high quality CPR and takes any provided opportunities to learn and practice the correct and efficient techniques to save someone’s life. Taking a seven day course to learn CPR can add numerous days to a victim’s life.
To begin, if someone becomes unconscious and stops breathing, take charge. Do not expect someone else to provide CPR, be the first line of defense. Time is your worst enemy so acting swiftly will help prevent serious permanent brain damage. Delegating tasks to individuals such as calling 911, locating the AED, and finding a partner trained in CPR saves time. Calling 911 is the most important step because that is the first chain of survival. Most people underestimate how strenuous CPR is. Giving high quality CPR requires intense power and endurance. It can become daunting and exhausting for only one person. It is essential to have a partner to conserve energy to ensure high quality CPR.
Next, assess the scene for safety because it is a top priority to prevent endangering your life and others. Then tap and shout to see if the person is responsive, if not, proceed with CPR. The key to high quality compressions, which is the most important part of CPR, requires both hands to exert intense amount of pressure upon the chest which pumps blood to the heart. Remember you become the person’s heart that pumps blood, so push forcefully.
Most people’s concern is harming the person, but pushing too hard is better than not hard enough. Although it may cause an injury, you increased their chance of survival through pumping the heart forcefully due to the high quality compressions you gave. While performing adult CPR, push hard and fast at least two inches at a rate of at least 100 compressions. Giving compressions is exhausting for one person so switching at least every two minutes makes the CPR high quality. Keep the pauses between compressions as short as possible.
After compressions, provide oxygen by giving breathes. When holding, open the airway and pinch the nose closed and completely cover their mouth with your mouth so no air escapes, this ensures high quality breathing. Keep your eyes focused on their chest to see if it rises because then you know that the breaths you are providing are high quality. Reset the airway again by tilting the head and lifting the chin if the chest doesn’t rise. Give another breath and see if the chest rises and allow 10 seconds to give breathes.
As a result, providing mediocre CPR will not suffice, knowing how to give high quality CPR is extremely important because it can mean either life or death for the person. If you follow all of these tips to provide high quality CPR you will increase their chance of survival.