CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR) IN CARDIAC ARREST

Emergency first-aid procedures to restore heartbeat in cases of cardiac arrest are closely related to those involved in cases of asphyxiation. The procedure, which requires proper training, involves the application of external heart pressure to keep blood flowing. combined with the techniques or artificial respiration already described. Once again, it is important to check, at an early stage, that the heart is beating. The term 'heart massage’ is misleading. What the first aider is really trying to do is to squeeze the heart between the breastbone and the spine; because of the valves in the heart, the blood is forced to circulate.


The victim is placed face up on a firm surface and his or her air passages are cleared of any obstructing matter. The operator kneels next to the victim, placing hands on the breastbone. The breastbone is then depressed about 5cm (Zin); forcing blood from the heart through the victim's arteries. When the pressure is released, blood flows into the heart. The pressure is applied in short, rhythmic thrusts to about once a second. Mouth-to-mouth respiration is applied once every five thrusts. Two operators are therefore more effective for this procedure, rather than just one. If there is only one operator; mouth-to-mouth respiration is applied twice, after every 15 cardiac compressions. Even if no signs of revival are apparent, the procedure should be repeated until help arrives.

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