Knowing how to administer first aid and CPR is absolutely a great benefit when it comes to wanting to help or even save another person’s life.
This article on the 4 steps to performing CPR will equip you with the basic knowledge to confidently address these kinds of situations.
Additionally, you will also learn the skills you need to perform the actions when the circumstances call for it.
Understanding First Aid and CPR
Accidents are very common in our lives. Therefore, sooner or later everyone is going to experience some sort of emergency. So, understanding what first aid is can certainly help you get a head start in saving another’s life.
In simple terms, first aid is to initially help or assist an injured or sick person until higher qualified medical personnel arrive.
For example, you might come across an individual who has been hit by a car and for someone who knows first aid, you head over to help the individual with their injuries.
A first aider does this until an ambulance arrives and then you’re relieved.
A lot of the time, you won’t have to perform CPR as most injured or sick individuals are responsive. CPR is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
You would only need to perform this life-saving technique if the individual is unconscious and not breathing.
The purpose of performing CPR is to continue manually pumping air into their lungs and thus keeping their heart alive.
The CPR Procedure
If you do ever have to apply CPR, it can be a very scary moment, especially if you haven’t done it before. Practicing is one thing, but to do it in a real-life situation is on a whole new level.
Nonetheless, here are four basic steps to prepare you for when that time comes.
Step #1: Assess the Situation
First and foremost, the thing to remember when in an emergency situation is that your safety is also your priority. It does no good to the victim if the rescuer is also injured.
So, in any kind of situation, always assess your surroundings to check if it’s safe for you to approach the individual.
Even while administering first aid, continue to pay attention to what’s around you. You never know if a fire might catch or if another car collision may occur.
Step #2: Establish Communication
The next step once you’ve finished assessing the environment or scene is to approach the individual and establish a response from them.
If they respond verbally, then that’s a great sign that they’re not as badly hurt.
However, if they struggle to speak, then look for other responses that they can give, such as hand movements or pointing of the eyes. Any response is a good response.
One thing to note is to never move a person if you suspect a back or neck injury, as this might cause more damage to the spine.
The only time that you can move them is if the spot becomes dangerous, such as a fire breakout or even an imminent explosion.
Step #3: Make them Comfortable
After receiving some kind of response from the individual, you can now begin to converse with them. It’s important that you speak to them constantly about what you want to do, what has happened, and what’s currently happening.
You should also make sure that you ask them questions about how the accident happened. Doing so will help you better address their problems.
As you talk with them, try to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
You might need to loosen their clothing for some air. Or, place something soft under their head to lay down on. Do whatever you can to relieve their pains and shock.
Check if the person is breathing normally. If not, then you can turn them onto their side with their cheek touching the ground.
This is a technique called the recovery position, which helps to improve breathing.
Step #4: Perform CPR
Hopefully, you would never have to reach this stage. But, if the individual is not responsive at first, then they’re most likely unconscious.
When that happens, you need to check for breathing signs. Watch if their chest rises or feel the air coming out of their nose.
If you see no signs of breathing, then you need to immediately perform CPR.
Before you perform CPR, you first need to open their mouth and check for any obstructions.
If there aren’t any, then you pinch their nose lightly and breathe into their mouth twice.
If there’s still no response, then repeat this every 5-10 seconds until they start to breathe on their own again.
After doing this for a while and you find that the person still has no pulse, then you need to apply the CPR technique.
First, place your hands on top of the center-most part of the rib cage (use one hand if the victim is an infant). Then, from an upright position, compress the chess in repetitions of 10-15 times.
If needed, give the breaths in combination with the compression.
Learning first aid can be quite exciting if you have a strong desire to help your family or friends in emergency situations.
Of course, it can also be scary too. This is why knowing the 4 steps to perform CPR will come in very handy someday.
Looking to learn more first aid? Check out this great article: 8 Steps to Essential Wound Care You Should Learn