Ever wished you could do something to save someone's life? Well you could with this simple life saving procedure called CPR. It is performed when a person's heart has stopped beating and they have trouble breathing. CPR is a combination of chest compressions  and rescue breathing.  According to American Heart Society, immediate CPR provided by a bystander after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. However, only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander and about 70% of the Americans feels helpless in such cases where an emergency intervention is required, because they don't know what to do.

The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone's loved one-a husband, a daughter or even somebody's mother.

When is a CPR needed?

  • Collapsing
  • Unconsciousness due to drowning, excessive bleeding or exposure to smoke or other chemicals 
  • Stopped breathing
  • No pulse
  • Electrocution
  • Stroke

How to give CPR

Check for consciousness. Try gently tapping them to check if the person is conscious. Check for even the slightest movement and breathing pattern.

In case there is no response, call up the emergency services. Carefully place the person on their back. Be as gentle as possible, avoiding any jerky movements.

Open the airway. Check for anything blocking the airway. With the person lying on the back, tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin.

Perform chest compressions

Chest compressions are absolutely necessary to make sure that oxygen reaches the vital organs when a person's heart has stopped beating. This is how you do it

Place the heel of one hand on the breast bone, right in the middle of the nipples.

Place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand.

Keep your body upright and directly over your hands.

Press down, use your body weight to bear down and give fast and hard compressions. Give 30 quick cocmpressions in swift and non-jerky movements.

Each time let the chest rise up completely before giving the next one.

Provide Rescue breaths

To compensate for the declining oxygen levels,  rescue breaths are absolutely necessary to prevent organ failure.

When to stop CPR

If you begin to see signs of life, like breathing or any type of movement, you can safely stop giving CPR. However at any point of time you begin to see the person stop breathing, continue rescue breathing and the compressions.

Pinch the nose shut and place your mouth over the person's mouth to make a complete seal and blow until you see the person's chest rise.

Give 2 rescue breaths followed by 30 compressions.

Continue performing the cycle of chest compressions and rescue breathing until the person exhibits signs of life.

Now that you are up to speed on how to give CPR, take a pledge to save a life today!

Learn more about heart attack and coronary heart disease