The letters CPR stand for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and it describes the process of bringing oxygen back into the body’s circulatory system. The human brain can only survive for three or four minutes without oxygen before suffering damage. Millions of Americans are saved from brain damage or death each year because someone knew how to administer CPR at a time when a victim needed it. CPR and first aid are not difficult techniques to learn, but the most effective teaching comes from a course where students are allowed to practice the techniques on mannequins to safely ensure that you are learning correctly. The Red Cross and the American Heart Association both offer information on where to find CPR and first aid classes.
The ABC’s Of CPR And First Aid
By following the ABC’s when encountering a victim who is unconscious, you can determine what type of help is needed. “A” stands for airway, and it involves ensuring that the victim is in a position so that the airway is open. By tilting the victim’s head back and pulling the chin forward, you can open the airway. “B” stands for breathing. You can determine if the victim is breathing by watching for movement in the chest. If you do not detect any movement, immediately begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The “C” is for circulation. If you cannot find a heartbeat on your victim, you need to begin chest compressions immediately as well. These compressions can help send some blood to the vital organs which is essential for them to continue functioning.
Before beginning an “ABC” assessment, verify that your victim is indeed unconscious. Gently shake the person’s shoulder and shout at them to see if you get a response. If you do not, it is important to call 9-1-1, or have another person on the scene call before beginning any CPR or first aid on the victim. It is vital to get professional emergency help to the scene as quickly as possible. You can then begin to administer CPR and any other first aid techniques that appear necessary. If more than one person is at the scene, one can perform chest compressions while the other does mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The quick thinking and action that you can provide to a victim by performing CPR and first aid may very well save someone’s life. If you are not currently certified in CPR and first aid training, contact the Red Cross or the American Heart Association today to find a class in your community. The knowledge you gain today may very well save a life tomorrow.