Do you know how to do CPR?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

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THE Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) last week conducted training sessions in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with different groups, in a bid to raise the level of awareness and knowledge about CPR.

This initiative was to mark CPR week. CPR is a life-saving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack and near drowning.

The Sunday Observer decided to join them and bring you step-by-step illustrations of how CPR is done. Senior CPR Instructor Marco Bromfield and CPR Supervisor Alonzo Mothersill were more than happy to demonstrate.

Once a person is not responding, not breathing, has no signs of life, that's when you give CPR. But first you should ensure the scene is safe.

Tap the person on the shoulder while looking at the chest to see if the person is breathing, if the person does not respond, call for help and an automatic external defibrillator (AED). Immediately start chest compression: For an adult, do 30 compressions at the rate of 100 per minute. Push hard and fast, about the depth of two inches, and allow the chest to recoil after each compression. For infants, use two fingers, pushing hard and fast, but to an approximate depth of about one-and-a-half inches.

Do a head-tilt, chin-lift manoeuvre to open the airway, and, using a mask, give two breaths. Each breath must produce chest rise, after which you return to chest compressions.

Continue to do this until the person responds or until advance care arrives. If this team arrives with an AED, then you stop compression immediately and turn on the machine, apply, the pads and wait for the machines prompt. One pad fits to the top, right shoulder, below the collarbone and one is placed below the left armpit. The machine will tell you when to shock.

Note that the hands are placed in the centre of the chest on the lower half of the breastbone, that is the heel of one hand with the other on top of the first. Use your upper body strength not your arms as you push straight down. Also, if no mask is available and you are comfortable with the person, you can give mouth-to-mouth breaths where you tilt the head back and pinch the person's nose, give two breaths.

If you are not comfortable doing mouth-to-mouth breaths, you can go ahead and give compressions only.

To learn CPR properly, consider taking an accredited training course which includes CPR and how to use an AED.

— Anika Richards





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