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When to Perform CPR – How to Tell if Someone Needs CPR

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CPR today is performed worldwide to save lives of people dying on the streets or at home. If you’ve ever questioned yourself why do I need CPR training, I don’t need to then you need to change your approach as CPR is most essential skill of today. Most cases have been witness of cardiac arrest at place with no medical help nearby. And people have died because they couldn’t reach to the hospital right away. It is matter of minutes after a person got a cardiac arrest, and if he is not given first aid right on spot he might not survive. So, do we still need to convince you? We assume your answer is no!

Not every person fainted in front of you is in need of CPR! Yes there are some symptom’s/signs that will help you recognize a patient who is in desperate need of CPR.

If performed properly, CPR is an incredible life-saving skill that has helped many people to survive and recover from an accident. The problem arises, when people don’t know when they should or should not perform CPR. This is when one lacks the knowledge of CPR and it can be incredibly harmful to someone who needs it.

How to tell if someone needs CPR?

It is very hard to tell if CPR is needed or not in an emergency. However, it is completely understandable as the fear could affect your judgment. You have to learn to look for the signs that someone needs CPR; you can shut out the speculation and act as quickly as possible.

They are not breathing

Do check for breathing first and foremost! And if a person is not breathing, it’s obvious to perform CPR to circulate oxygenated blood through the body. With no blood flow and oxygen, the heart stops beating and the brain will eventually die. The average person can only go without oxygen for a total of six minutes before irreversible damage is done to the brain. If you start CPR within the time frame after cardiac arrest, there is a chance that a person will survive without much brain damage.

Take occasional gasping breaths

Person with cardiac arrest might continue to breathe for a while. But if you see the person start gasping for breath, then CPR compressions should be started right away.

Heart stopped beating

Check for a pulse, if there is no pulse, begin performing CPR. If you observe the heart isn’t pumping, oxygen is not getting to the rest of the body. Do chest compressions to keep blood flowing to the heart and brain until emergency responders can take over and try other methods of restoration.

Person is unresponsive

Look closely at the person if he is unconscious or unresponsive start performing CPR. Their condition might become unstable if you don’t intervene, they may lose control of their breathing.

When to start CPR or compressions?

Right after deciding that a person needs CPR, you start CPR immediately. The faster you decide, the better the results .Quick decision making will increase their chances of survival. To delay the decision will only make you regret, as it will cause necessary may damage the brain or other organs, leading to more problems.

When not to perform CPR?

It is not recommended to jump into the scene to try and start CPR after witnessing a sudden cardiac arrest or injury as it might be beneficial for your well-being. You might end up putting yourself in danger and needing to be rescued yourself if you aren’t alert. What to keep in mind in such situation?

Beware of dangerous areas

Look out when conditions are not favorable; there is a possibility that you may not be the best person in the situation to help. Get caution if someone is electrocuted, there may be downed power lines in the area and you could get electrocuted yourself.

Before going at the spot make sure that the area is totally safe before going in for help. If you think you can’t get to help someone, you can still help by calling 911. Stay close until emergency rescuers arrive.

Trust your instinct

In such situations you need to make sure that the person lying down and who seem in need of help but if you get a feeling that something isn’t right, your instincts could be correct in giving you signs. You might fall in criminals trap and people by faking emergencies.

Check if person is still breathing normally

If you see a person breathing normally, you usually do not need to perform CPR. Because oxygen is still reaching to the brain and the heart is obviously functioning for the time being. For such cases, call 911 and wait. Observe the person to notice any changes and to start CPR if their condition worsens. Keep checking for a pulse and regular breaths.

When should to stop giving CPR?

It is very important to keep in mind that the person who needed your help may not anymore. Well it was right to perform CPR but you also need to know when to stop before hurting someone. Stop if you witness signs below:

  • The person finally responds and their condition is stable again. If the person you are helping regains consciousness or started to breathe normally, then you should stop giving CPR. It means that your efforts paid off.
  • The surrounding becomes unsafe or unstable. It is possible that the place you considered to be safe place to perform CPR may become dangerous.  The traffic might get dangerous; you need to take care of yourself first.
  • When emergency personnel arrives. If the professionals arrive and take over, leave the rest of efforts to them. They are more likely to know what they are doing better than you do and have access to all equipment that you don’t; let them do their job.
  • If an AED becomes available. “AED” which stands for “Automated External Defibrillator’’ is available go for it. It is most likely a better option than CPR.
  • Although, CPR is the first step for survival but it is physically demanding. If you have been performing CPR for a long time, you might be tired. You don’t think as clearly, and you start to make mistakes. At this point, it is better to hand CPR off to someone else on the scene or stop.

It is essential to know when and when not to perform CPR as it drastically increases the chances that you save someone’s life. If performed properly, CPR can bring a person back from death and help them lead a normal life ahead.

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