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When the world comes crashing down, being self-sufficient will be more important than ever, especially if you can help others make it through the emergency. But what we teach you today isn't just for when the SHTF. In the shopping mall, at the park, or even in your home - you never know when having a basic understanding of the principles of CPR may help you to save someone's life.

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and is a set of actions to perform when a victims heart has stopped pumping, or they are no longer breathing. It's normally applied after a person has suffered a cardiac arrest and emergency workers have yet to arrive on the scene. With over 383,000 people suffering from cardiac arrest every year, there's always a chance knowing this technique will make you the hero of the day. Imagine if what you learn today could help you save the life of a loved one. Good. Now pay attention. Here's how to perform CPR.

Arriving on the scene

The first thing to do is call for help. Grab your phone and dial 911 (or the local equivalent in your country), or if there are other people around point to an individual and tell them to call while you tend to the victim. Remember to give the operator your location, and tell them you're going to start performing CPR. Don't hang up, stay on the line so you can keep the operator updated. The key is to reduce panic, and take swift action. When someone has suffered from a cardiac arrest, their hearts ability to pump blood throughout their body and to their brain will stop, and in a couple of minutes their brain cells begin to die. If it takes too long for emergency services to arrive, they may have suffered too much brain damage to survive. Knowing how to use CPR is the answer.

Scan the scene for danger

Once you decide to perform CPR, check the immediate area for any signs of danger. Putting yourself in harm's way to save someone else's life isn't a good idea, so do a quick scan and identify any possible threats. i cloud Is the car on fire, or are there live electrical cables on the ground? Perhaps the victim is laying on a heavily trafficked road. If you cannot safely perform CPR on the victim where they are, see what you can do to eliminate the threat, or simply move them to a safe location before you begin administering CPR.

Starting to perform CPR

First, you want to check if the victim is conscious. Gently tap their arm or shoulder and ask if they are ok. Use a clear and loud voice, and if you get a response CPR will not be necessary. Instead, you may need to administer basic first-aid or start treating the victim for shock. If they do not respond and remain unconscious, continue with the next step.

Now, you want to identify if they are breathing. Put your ear close to their mouth and listen for any signs, or if their mouth is closed use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze their cheeks and open their mouth to check for any blockages. You can use your fingers to probe for obstructions, but do not stick them in too far. If the victim is coughing or breathing, CPR is not necessary. If no breath is detected, it's time to get started.

Don't worry about looking for a pulse at this point, you're probably not going to be able to find it in the heat of the moment, and you'll just waste precious time. Position the victim so they are lying flat on their back, and are as flat as possible. This helps to prevent injuries when you start performing the chest compressions. Place two fingers under their chin, and using the palm of your other hand tile their head back to fully open their airway.

Kneel down by the victim, next to their shoulders and neck, placing the heel of your hand on the victims chest. Position your palm to rest on their breastbone, an inch above where this meets their lower ribs, in the center of their chest. Take your other hand, placing it over the first so that both of your palms are facing down, and interlock your fingers. While kneeling, position your body so you're directly above their chest, and your arms are straight. Keep your arms locked, and use your upper body strength to press down hard, moving the palms of your hands about 2 inches into their chest, then release. This is a compression, and each one helps to force the victims heart to beat. If you're performing CPR on an infant, use a similar technique, but instead of your palms use two fingers only.

Each compression needs to be done quickly, at a rate that has you performing at least 100 compressions a minute. To give you an idea of what this speed means in real life, imagine the chorus to the song "Staying Alive" - this 1970's disco hit follows a similar number of beats. Make sure that while you're doing the compressions their head remains tilted back and their airway is open. If you find yourself tiring, you can switch to a different operator to do the CPR, just make sure each switch is done in under 10 seconds. Perform at least 2 minutes of CPR before stopping to quickly look for any signs of life.

Performing rescue breaths (optional)

If there continues to be no sign of life, this next step is optional. In 2010, the American Heart Association found that compression only CPR (without any mouth to mouth breathing) was just as effective as the traditional approach, and rescue breaths are no longer needed. We cover this section to give you the full scope of information, so you can determine in the situation you're in if rescue breaths are needed (or not).

The methodology for this one is straightforward, simply perform two rescue breaths after every 30 compressions. Make sure the victims head remains tilted back, and use two of your fingers to pinch their nose shut as you breathe in. Exhale slowly, and ensure that their chest is rising and falling with the breaths you're making. If you get this wrong, the air will go into their stomach. If you find you cannot get the air to go into their lungs, reposition their body or check if there are any obstructions to their airway. A Heimlich maneuver may be necessary if they are choking on a foreign object.

Repeat the cycle of 30 compressions followed by two rescue breaths for 2 minutes (5 rounds), before taking a quick pause to look for any signs of life. If none are found, simply keep performing CPR until the emergency response team arrive, you're too exhausted to continue, or you see signs of life returning.

Positioning the victim

Once the victim has started breathing again, and seems stable enough to start breathing on their own, you need to put them in the recovery position. Bend one of their legs at the knee, and push the hand that's on the opposite side of their body under their hip of the straightened leg. htaccess redirect to new domain . Place their free hand on their opposite shoulder, and gently roll them onto their side so the straight leg remains on the ground. Position the bent leg to act as an anchor, to keep them from rolling forward onto their belly. This position helps to keep the victim stable and allows them to breathe easily, as the tilt of their head stops any saliva accumulating, and keeps the tongue to one side so it doesn't fall back into the mouth and obstruct the airway.

It's quite common to hear stories how people were saved because their loved ones were able to effectively perform CPR on them when they needed it most. Now think about this. 88% of all cardiac arrests happen in the home, so statistically speaking - if you ever do need to perform CPR on someone, it's most likely going to be one of your close family members.

Imagine being able to save your family from a tragic outcome by just learning CPR? Now that's really amazing.

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