Anybody can and anybody should learn how to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation): According to the American Heart Association, a stunning 70% of Americans don’t know how what to do if somebody is experiencing a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they forgot the exact technique. This is especially alarming since almost 90% of cardiac arrests occur at home — where patients depend on the immediate respiratory care response of their family members. In brief, knowing how to perform CPR can save the life of a loved one someday.
While 400,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year in the U.S. alone, hands-on CPR can actually double or triple an adult’s chance of survival. However, you need to act quickly. At four minutes without oxygen, the patient will suffer from permanent brain damage. At eight to ten minutes, the patient can die. Almost 90% of cardiac arrest patients die because no one performed CPR at the scene.
Before You Start CPR
First of all, check if the patient can respond by tapping them on the shoulder and shouting “Are you okay?” If they don’t respond, call for medical emergency services immediately. If others are around, instruct them to call 911 and if you’re alone, do it yourself. If the patient is an animal, call the closest animal hospital. If you happen to be near an AED (defibrillator), read the instructions and give one shock to the patient (this applies to humans only).
CPR Steps For Adults and Children 9 and Older: Hands-Only CPR
- Lay the patient on their back and kneel next to their neck and shoulders.
- Place the heel of one hand on the center of the patient’s chest.
- Place the heel of your other hand over the first and lace fingers together.
- Keep your elbows straight and align your shoulders directly over your hands.
- Begin compression:
- As hard as possible
- At least 100x/minute
- Allow the chest to rise fully between compressions.
TIP: Give compressions to the beat of disco hit “Stayin’ Alive”!
CPR Steps For Younger Children and Infants
- Tilt the head back a bit and lift chin to open the airway and check for breathing.
- If there’s no breathing, give either of these two rescue breaths:
- Child: Pinch the nose shut and make a complete seal over their mouth
- Infant: Make a complete seal over their mouth and nose.
- Blow in for one second, so the chest visibly rises and repeat this once.
- Give 30 chest compressions (100x/minute):
- Child: Push with one or two hands about two inches deep
- Infant: Push with two to three fingers about 1.5 inches deep.
- Repeat these steps three to four times.
Pet CPR – For Dogs and Cats
[Follow these CPR instructions for puppies]
For Animals Under 10kg/22lbs:
- Use the one-handed technique, wrapping the hand over sternum and chest.
- Give 30 chest compressions (100-120x/minute).
- Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions.
- Give two mouth-to-snout rescue breaths after each set of compressions (30:2).
For Medium to Giant Dogs:
- Position the animal on its side.
- Use the two-handed technique, placing your hands over the widest part of the chest.
For Deep, Narrow-Chested Dogs Like Greyhounds:
- Use the two-handed technique, placing your hands directly over the heart.
For Barrel-Chested Dogs Like English Bulldogs:
Place animal on its back and use the same positioning and technique as for adult humans Whether you perform CPR on an adult, child, infant, or pets, DO NOT STOP unless:
- The patient starts breathing
- An EMS or another citizen responder takes over
- An AED is ready to use
- The scene becomes unsafe
- You are physically incapable of continuing
Make sure to practice and/or brush up your CPR abilities today, so you’re ready to potentially save someone’s life in the future! Furthermore, if you’re interested in making it your profession to help people suffering from respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, heart attack, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or sleep apnea, you should look into Carrington College’s respiratory care program. This two-year program combines classroom lectures, laboratory instruction, and clinical experience in order to prepare you to work in a variety of healthcare settings. If you’d like to assist and educate people regarding respiratory health concerns, our training program is the ideal fit for you!