Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure which has been used for more than seven decades. Although the principle of CPR has pretty much stayed the same throughout the years, there have been several improvements made to the technique. Read below to find out what CPR training nowadays is all about.
• Hands-Only Resuscitation:
For a very long time, the protocols regarding efficient CPR were very strict: cycles of 30 chest compressions followed by 2 artificial breaths. However, recent advances in the medical field and various studies have prompted international organizations to change recommendations regarding the CPR protocol.
Nowadays, emphasis is put on performing efficient chest compression (at least 4-5 cm deep and at a rate of 100 per minute) rather than concentrating on the artificial respirations. The hands-only resuscitation is certainly the preferred method where there is only one rescuer.
While in most cases the general consensus is to first start the chest compressions, in newborns it is still considered important to begin by clearing the airway and performing artificial respiration and only afterwards worry about the compressions. This is because, many times, the artificial breaths are more than enough to restore the baby's state.
• Different Protocols for Children and Adults:
During CPR training, you will learn that the resuscitation protocol has to be adjusted according to the age and size of the victim. While for adults, 30 chest compressions and 2 artificial respirations are considered standard, in children the preferred ratio is 15:2. Also, in children younger than 7, the rescuer is advised to use only one hand so as not to apply too much pressure on the young victim's chest. In newborns, the recommended ratio of chest compression and artificial respirations is 3:1 and the rescuer is advised to use only two fingers (the index and the middle finger) when doing the compressions.
CPR training courses use different sizes mannequins in order to simulate the resuscitation for an adult, a child, and a newborn. In this way, trainees can get accustomed to the amount of pressure they need to apply in each case.
• The Use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs):
In today's society, the use of defibrillators for restoring a victim's heart rhythm is not reserved only for hospitals or medical professionals. AEDs can be found in subway stations, schools, and other public places and are easy to use by someone who has undergone a minimum of CPR training. All the rescuer has to do is place the AED's pads on the victim's chest and let the device do all the work.
Although not all cardiac arrests can be shocked using the AED (the defibrillator is efficient only for certain heart rhythms) the use of these devices has significantly increased the number of successful resuscitations.
CPR training has been constantly evolving and improving and it is important for the average citizen, not only for the medical professional, to keep up with all of the changes. The information presented above represents the most important things you should know about modern CPR training.