Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency technique that must be administered promptly to be successful. But that doesn’t mean you should get over excited and rush with it. The scene of an accident can be hazardous and any first aid treatment including CPR must be given only after understanding the entire situation with a quick but calm mind.
Before giving CPR you must look out for the following 3 things.
* Safe to Approach: Just because the accident has happened doesn’t mean that the danger is over. Therefore before approaching a victim you must look at the surrounding and determine if it is safe. In case of an accident on the road you must observe if there is heavy oncoming traffic. Similarly if the victim has been electrocuted do not make any sort of contact as you might get electrocuted yourself. First and foremost cut of any mains or circuit breaker to stop the flow of electricity, and should approach only after separating the victim from the source of shock. Also look at the accident site for falling debris and do not enter any premises where there are smoke or poisonous gases unless you have proper mask for protection. Also avoid rescuing a victim from perilous waters if you are working alone. Remember that acting in haste and injuring yourself will do more harm than good.
* Evaluate the Victim: Once you have managed to reach the victim safely, do a quick evaluation and check for any response. Lookout for signs like open eyes, moving the hands and feet or trying to speak. You can shake the victim from the shoulders to check for any response, however in case of small children and infants you must not shake but rub the chest to elicit movement. Calling out loudly and asking if ok can establish the victim’s consciousness or unconsciousness.
* Check for Signs of Breathing: Next you must find out if the victim is breathing. Watch for the typical rise and fall of the chest to indicate breathing. Alternatively you can place your face close to the victim in a way that your cheek is touching the person’s nose and try to hear sounds of breathing from the nose and mouth.
Remember that CPR must be given only when the victim is not breathing. If the need for CPR is established you must follow the technique depending on the age of the victim. For an adult, CPR has to be administered with both hands while laying your upper body weight on them. Only a single hand must be used in case of a child and also remember to breathe in gently when giving artificial respiration. Use only two fingers on an infant and place your mouth over the baby’s mouth and nose while breathing in very gently.