When an individual goes into cardiac arrest, it is critical that they receive CPR in order to help maintain the flow of blood through the heart in an effort to minimize lasting damage. CPR typically includes both chest compression and artificial breath.
It can be easy to overlook some minor but critical tasks when you are in the midst of an emergency. Performing CPR properly is the only way to offer the type of help an individual in cardiac arrest needs.
1. Elevate the Person's Feet
You should always take the time to position the individual who is in cardiac arrest properly before you begin the CPR process. The patient should be lying flat on his or her back. You want to elevate the person's feet, a process referred to as passive leg raising (PLR). Including PLR in your CPR routine allows gravity to help channel venous blood from the lower extremities back to the heart. Since the patient's heart is not compressing on its own, being able to circulate this venous blood through the heart with the help of gravity can ensure that you are maximizing the effects of your CPR efforts.
2. Apply Chest Compressions Continuously
Performing CPR is often a tiring task. It's critical that you don't let fatigue stop you from maintaining chest compressions regularly until help arrives. Chest compressions are designed to help maintain cardiac output for a patient when the heart is not pumping itself. Chest compressions build on one another, with each compression helping to slightly increase cardiac output. If you stop compressions, cardiac output will immediately begin to drop. Complete a given set of compressions and then switch places with another first aid provider, if possible, so that you can avoid fatigue.
3. Maintain the Right Compression Rate
Another critical thing you must remember when administering CPR is to maintain the appropriate compression rate. This rate varies based on the age of the individual, but most adults require between 100 and 120 compressions per minute. If your compression rate is too fast, blood won't have time to fully fill the heart before you manually pump it back out by compressing the patient's chest. A compression rate that is too slow could prevent oxygenated blood from reaching the brain in a timely manner.
Maintain a steady compression rate throughout the CPR process to give your patient the greatest chance at a successful recovery.
For more information on CPR training, talk to a medical professional.