Hello, readers! This is Megan from Kitschy Suburbia. For those of you who don't know me, I am the sole contributor to a blog which suffers from multiple personalities. I write about nail polish, food, family and whatever else that catches my fancy at the time.
Anyway...I'm joining Just Lu today for Housewife MacGuyver. This month's topic is CPR and basic first aid, something that EVERYBODY should know. When I'm not busy running around chasing my two boys, I'm a medical assistant, so I know a thing or two about CPR and basic first aid. Since these are rather in-depth topics, we decided to split it up in to two posts. We're tackling CPR first. Ready?
CPR. We've all heard of it, but what is it, really? Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a first-aid technique used to help keep air and blood circulating through a person until emergency services arrive.
If you find a person laying unconscious on the floor, first try to get a response from them by gently shaking them and asking them (kind of loudly) if they're OK. If it's a baby, do not shake them (NEVER shake a baby), slap the soles of their feet. Don't get a response? Do not leave that person. Find somebody nearby and tell them to call 9-1-1. Nobody around? Either yell for help or call 9-1-1 yourself.
If you ever have to perform CPR, there are three simple things you need to remember: A B C.
Airway. What good is trying to put air in to the lungs if something is blocking the airway. Look, listen and feel for breathing. Look to see if the chest is rising and falling. Put your ear near the person's mouth - you can usually hear and/or feel if they're breathing. If they are not breathing, open the mouth by bringing up the neck slightly and pulling down on the chin to perform a visual check of the mouth. If you can see something in there, sweep it out using your finger. image source
breathing. Give two slow, full breaths using mouth to mouth. If it's a child, cover their nose and their mouth with your mouth, giving them two slow breaths. I know, gross, right? Well, you could be saving somebody's life. I think about that above all else when I've had to give CPR (and, yes, I've had to perform CPR). Be sure to make sure the person's chest rises and falls with each breath. image source
circulation. So, you've got some air moving in the lungs. Now you've got to get some blood circulating. This is when we start compressions - pressing on the chest with the heels of your hand just between the nipples. You have to press pretty hard to get that heart pumping! Do 15 compressions, then stop, feel for a pulse, look and listen for signs of breathing. For chest compressions for an infant, use your index and middle finger between the nipples, compressing 5 times. image
Still not breathing or have a pulse? Give two more breaths and then continue chest compressions. Remember 15:2 for adults. 15 compressions to 2 breaths, stopping each time between cycles to check for a pulse and breathing. For infants, remember 5:1. 5 compressions to 1 breath, stopping each time between cycles to check signs of circulation. Continue both chest compressions and rescue breaths until emergency personnel arrive.
But what if there's a pulse but they're not breathing? You've got to breathe for them. Continue giving rescue breathes, two at a cycle for adults, one for an infant/baby, checking for pulse and signs of breathing between cycles. Continue this until emergency personnel come.
Wait! They're breathing and they have a pulse. Now what? Try to keep the person calm. Try to explain to them that they were unconscious and keep them as immobile is possible (it's best to keep them laying down). Once emergency personnel arrive they will take over and whisk your "patient" away.
Are you ready to save a life? For more information, check out the American Heart Association and for very informative videos, check out Pulse Check CPR.
Thanks, Megan! Great refresher! If you're interested in taking a hands-on CPR course, find a class near you using the class finder from the American Heart Association and searching for the Family and Friends CPR course.
This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.