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CPR Training Boston

CPR Training Boston

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a manual procedure by which a “rescuer” (i.e. layperson or professional firefighter, police officer or Emergency Medical Technician) can temporarily simulate part of the action of the victim’s lungs and heart.

It is only performed on an infant, child or adult who is not breathing and is unconscious. CPR is only meant to support or maintain the victim’s breathing and blood circulation until the arrival of trained emergency medical personnel. These personnel will attempt to restore breathing and circulation by a combination of medications and electric shock to the heart (defibrillation). Most CPR training certification in the United States is conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA) or the American Red Cross (ARC). Certification generally lasts two years.

Causes of Cardiac Arrest

The most common causes of cardiac arrest in “infants” (defined as birth through 1 year of age) are trauma from an accident or respiratory failure due to illness, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), an object caught in the throat, neurologic conditions or drowning. In “children” (defined as 1 year through 8 years of age), common causes of cardiac arrest may also include drug overdoses/poisoning, heat or cold exposure, electric shock and other forms of trauma, such as falls and traffic collisions. In adults (defined as anyone older than 8 years of age), heart disease leads all other causes. CPR training emphasizes a step-by-step procedure meant to increase the chances for survival for a victim in cardiac arrest.

An important first step in that process

is to make a call for emergency personnel before committing one’s self to performing CPR. Since CPR is merely meant as asupport measure, it is vitally important to have trained personnel enroute as early as possible. CPR is conducted by using a series of “mouth-to-mouth” breaths between the rescuer and the victim, as well as hand compressions to the victim’s chest to simulate the action of the heart in blood circulation. These steps vary in placement of hands, count and intensity of compressions based upon the estimated age of the victim. The steps of CPR also include the possibility of dealing with an obstruction in the victim’s airway (throat or mouth).

CPR must be performed on a hard surface,

usually with the victim lying on the floor or ground, so that chest compressions are effective. If found in a sitting position, thevictim should be moved to the floor as quickly as possible. On an infant, the index and second finger are used to push down on the victim’s sternum (also known as the “breastbone) rapidly. On a child, the heel of one hand is used to compress the chest, with elbows locked and the rescuer’s shoulders directly above the sternum to aid in depressing straight down. On an adult, the rescuer’s second hand is placed on top of the first hand with fingers intertwined to deliver more force. The second hand also keeps the fingers off the chest.

Rescue breathing should be done using an  “adjunct device”

most commonly a plastic face shield made especially to cover a victim’s mouth and nose to allow for the one-way pressure of breath from the rescuer to the victim. Vomiting is always a possibility during CPR as rescue breathing increases the probability of excess air volume and pressure accumulation in the victim’s stomach.

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