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How To Perform CPR : Why You Must Master this Skill

Mastering CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is a key survival skill, particularly in outdoor settings where access to emergency medical help may be limited or unavailable. Activities like hiking, camping, or any adventure sports can put you, your friends and family in remote and hard to reach areas, where the chances of getting medical help are low. CPR can help to buy time for a person in need of emergency care and thus the difference between life and death.

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

CPR is a life-saving technique that involves performing chest compressions and rescue breathing to restore blood flow and oxygen to the brain and vital organs during a cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association (AHA) stresses the importance of starting CPR immediately if a person is unresponsive and not breathing normally, as it can keep blood flow to the brain and vital organs until professional medical help arrives.

Acting Fast Can Prevent Brain Damage

traditional Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Traditionally, the steps for performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) were taught using the mnemonic “ABC” (airway, breathing, and circulation). However, in recent guidelines the importance of chest compressions in CPR has been emphasized, resulting in the mnemonic “CAB” (compressions, airway, and breathing) being used as the new order of steps for performing CPR.

Traditional CPR – method that involves both chest compressions and rescue breathing to revive blood flow and oxygen to the brain and vital organs.

STEPS

Remember CAB (compressions, airway, and breathing) the new order of steps for performing CPR.

Helpful video by: PROCPR

  1. Assess the person’s consciousness level: Tap the person’s shoulder and inquire if they are alright.
  2. Check for normal breathing.
  3. When in remote locations with others, start CPR immediately and have someone call for emergency services and give them the exact location.
  4. Start CPR by getting close to the person, kneel down and place your hands on top of each other in the center of the person’s chest. Press down firmly and quickly, at a rate of about 100-120 compressions per minute.
  5. Deliver 30 chest compressions at a rate of no less than 100 compressions per minute.
  6. Open the person’s airway by tilting their head back and lifting their chin.
  7. Provide rescue breaths by sealing the person’s nose with your fingers and blowing air into their mouth, watching for the chest to rise with each breath.
  8. Continuously repeat the sequence of compressions and rescue breaths until the person begins to breathe independently or until assistance arrives.

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FIRST AID KIT FOR OUTDOORS: HOW TO USE IT EFFECTIVELY

When performing CPR on a child, chest compressions should be initiated by placing the heel of one hand on the center of the child’s chest, between the nipples. The compressions should be about 1/3 the depth of the child’s chest.

HANDS ONLY Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Hands-Only CPR – Consists of chest compressions only.

STEPS

Helpful Video by American Heart Association

  1. Assess the person’s consciousness level: Tap the person’s shoulder and inquire if they are alright. Check for normal breathing.
  2. When in remote locations with others, start CPR immediately and have someone call for emergency services and give them the exact location.
  3. Start CPR by getting close to the person, kneel down and place your hands on top of each other in the center of the person’s chest. Press down firmly and quickly, at a rate of about 100-120 compressions per minute.
  4. Deliver 30 chest compressions at a rate of no less than 100 compressions per minute.

When performing CPR on a child, chest compressions should be initiated by placing the heel of one hand on the center of the child’s chest, between the nipples. The compressions should be about 1/3 the depth of the child’s chest.

INFANT Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Photo by: Taryn Elliott

For infant CPR, “ABC” (airway, breathing, and circulation)The priority is to open the airway and start rescue breathing as soon as possible, unlike adult or children. This is because an infant’s airway is more delicate and prone to blockages, ensuring the airway is open is crucial for successful rescue breathing.

STEPS

Helpful video by: PROCPR

  1. Ensure the safety of the scene and the infant by checking for any potential hazards and verifying that the infant is unresponsive and not breathing or only gasping.
  2. it’s crucial to start CPR right away. Have someone else contact emergency services by dialing 911 and giving them the precise location coordinates.
  3. Place the infant on a stable, level surface.
  4. Clear the airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin with one hand while gently pressing down on the forehead with the other hand.
  5. Provide two rescue breaths by pinching the infant’s nose shut, blowing air into the mouth for about one second each time, observing for the chest to rise.
  6. Administer 30 chest compressions by using two fingers to press on the breastbone at a rate of around 100-120 compressions per minute.
  7. Provide two more rescue breaths, then repeat the sequence of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths until help arrives or the infant starts breathing on its own.

Recognizing Choking Signs and Knowing How to Respond Quickly

Choking results from an object obstructing the airway, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the lungs. It’s a critical situation that can lead to death if prompt action isn’t taken.

Heimlich Maneuver – an emergency procedure used to remove an object blocking the airway of a person who is choking.

STEPS

Helpful Video by: Howcast

  1. Stand behind the individual experiencing choking and encircle their waist with your arms.
  2. Form a fist with one hand and position it slightly above the person’s belly button.
  3. Clasp your other hand around your fist and push it into the person’s stomach with a swift upward motion.
  4. Continue performing the thrusts until the blocked object is removed.

The Heimlich Maneuver is not recommended for infants and young children as it can cause injuries. Instead, a modified technique called the “Abdominal Thrusts”

STEPS

ABDOMINAL TRUSTS (INFANTS AND CHILDREN)

Helpful video by: Marshfield Clinic Health System

  1. Position yourself behind the child, either standing or kneeling.
  2. Place your hands just above the child’s navel and below the ribcage.
  3. Clasp your hands together and perform five swift upward motions.
  4. If the object is not removed, rotate the child and perform five chest thrusts. Use two fingers and press gently in the middle of the chest, just below the nipples.
  5. Keep repeating the sequence of five back blows followed by five chest thrusts until the blockage is removed.

Outdoor locations being far from medical aid can make emergencies highly critical. Performing CPR can significantly improve survival chances. It is a must-have skill for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a basic yet effective method that can make the distinction between life and death. Therefore, it is crucial for everyone who takes part in outdoor activities to be trained in CPR.

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