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How Does CPR Actually Work?

How Does CPR Actually Work?

A lifeguard pulls a drowning child from the
ocean. An old man collapses in the street. A woman faints, not breathing. These are all situations that might call for
CPR. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
and the American Heart Association (AHA) describes CPR as “an emergency lifesaving procedure
performed when the heart stops beating,” which is a condition known as cardiac arrest. CPR is typically done until an automated external
defibrillator (AED) can be applied and/or trained medical professionals can provide
assistance. There are some things you should do before
you perform CPR. One of them is to make sure you and the person
who might need CPR are in a safe area. You should also check to see if the person
really needs help. If the person is an adult, try asking if he
or she is okay in a loud voice. You can also tap or shake the person. If the person does not respond, call 911. There are two common versions of CPR, the
simplest one being called hands-only CPR and involves performing chest compressions after
calling 911. You don’t need special training to do hands-only
CPR, and the American Red Cross describes how to perform this type of CPR: 1. Kneel beside the person who needs help. 2. Place the heel of one hand on the center of
the chest. 3. Place the heel of the other hand on top of
the first hand, then lace your fingers together. 4. Position your body so that your shoulders
are directly over your hands, and keep your arms straight. 5. Push hard, push fast. Use your body weight to help you administer
compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions
per minute. (Just be sure to let the chest rise completely
between compressions.) 6. Keep pushing. Continue hands-only CPR until you see obvious
signs of life like breathing, another trained responder or EMS professional can take over,
you’re too exhausted to continue, an AED becomes available, or the scene becomes unsafe. How do chest compressions help keep a person
alive? When the heart stops beating, blood flow also
stops, and this can be fatal because blood is how oxygen gets transported to the brain
and other parts of the body. The Mayo Clinic explains it this way: “When
the heart stops, the lack of oxygenated blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes. A person may die within eight to 10 minutes.” According to the Verywell Health website,
“compressing the chest moves blood through the brain, keeping it alive until the heart
can get started again.” The second common version of CPR is called
traditional CPR. It also involves performing chest compressions
but adds two other actions that require some training: opening the airway and rescue breathing. According to one of its fact sheets, the AHA
“recommends CPR with compressions and breaths for infants and children and victims of drowning,
drug overdose, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.” The purpose of opening the airway and giving
rescue breaths is to provide air to someone who is not breathing or is having difficulty
breathing. It is a form of artificial respiration that
helps to keep the body and brain from dying due to lack of oxygen. While many health professionals agree about
the importance of chest compressions, they disagree about the value of rescue breaths. Verywell Health describes rescue breathing
as “one of the most controversial steps in CPR.” It adds that the “debate is ongoing about
how much is enough (or too much) and whether it’s even necessary.” The American Red Cross provides some instructions
about what to do before performing traditional CPR on an adult. It advises to “check the scene and the person.” Next, you should open the airway. To do this, the American Red Cross instructs
you to “tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin” of the person while he or she
is “lying on his or her back.” After opening the airway, listen for breathing
“for about 10 seconds,” and begin CPR if you don’t hear any breathing. In addition, the American Red Cross lists
the following steps to perform traditional CPR on adults: 1. Push hard, push fast. Place your hands, one on top of the other,
in the middle of the chest. Use your body weight to help you administer
compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions
per minute. 2. Deliver rescue breaths. With the person’s head tilted back slightly
and the chin lifted, pinch the nose shut and place your mouth over the person’s mouth to
make a complete seal. Blow into the person’s mouth to make the chest
rise. Deliver two rescue breaths, then continue
compressions. Note: If the chest does not rise with the
initial rescue breath, re-tilt the head before delivering the second breath. If the chest doesn’t rise with the second
breath, the person may be choking. After each subsequent set of 30 chest compressions,
and before attempting breaths, look for an object and, if seen, remove it. 3. Continue CPR steps. Keep performing cycles of chest compressions
and breathing until the person exhibits signs of life, such as breathing, an AED becomes
available, or EMS or a trained medical responder arrives on scene. Note: The Mayo Clinic states that “thirty
chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths is considered one cycle.” Other sources such as the AHA also recommend
“using chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing at a ratio of 30:2 compressions-to-breaths”
in traditional CPR. There are some differences in the steps you
take to perform CPR on a child or an infant. For example, the procedure for checking if
the child or infant really needs help is not the same as the one used for an adult. Tap or shake a child more gently than you
would an adult. However, do not shake an infant. The National CPR Association warns that you
should “never shake an infant as this may cause brain damage.” Instead, the American Red Cross advises you
to “flick the bottom of the foot to elicit a response.” The American Red Cross also offers different
advice about when to call 911. You can “ask a bystander to call 911, then
administer approximately 2 minutes of care.” However, “if you’re alone with the child
or infant, administer 2 minutes of care, then call 911.” The “care” involves the following steps: 1. Open the airway. With the child lying on his or her back, tilt
the head back slightly and lift the chin. 2. Check for breathing. Listen carefully, for no more than 10 seconds,
for sounds of breathing. 3. Deliver 2 rescue breaths if the child or infant
isn’t breathing. With the head tilted back slightly and the
chin lifted, pinch the child’s nose shut, make a complete seal by placing your mouth
over the child’s mouth and breathe into the child’s mouth twice. For infants, use your mouth to make a complete
seal over the infant’s mouth and nose, then blow in for one second to make the chest clearly
rise. Now, deliver two rescue breaths. 4. If the child or infant is responsive, you
should still call 911 in order to “report any life-threatening conditions and obtain
consent to give care.” 5. If the child or baby is unresponsive to the
rescue breaths, begin CPR. Here are the steps to perform child and infant
CPR provided by the American Red Cross: 1. Kneel beside the child or baby. 2. Push hard, push fast. For children, place the heel of one hand on
the center of the chest, then place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand,
and lace your fingers together. Deliver 30 quick compressions that are each
about 2 inches deep. For infants, use 2 fingers to deliver 30 quick
compressions that are each about 1.5 inches deep. 3. Give 2 rescue breaths. 4. Keep going. Continue these baby or child CPR steps until
you see obvious signs of life, like breathing, or until an AED is ready to use, another trained
responder or EMS professional is available to take over, you’re too exhausted to continue,
or the scene becomes unsafe. Modern CPR was created in 1960 as the joint
effort of several doctors and researchers. According to Baylor College of Medicine Professor
William L. Winters, two anesthesiologists at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Peter Safar and
James Elam, came up with an “emergency ventilation technique that involved tipping the victim’s
head back and pulling the jaw forward in order to clear the air passage and then blowing
air into the victim’s lungs through a mouth-to-mouth connection.” The AHA states that Dr. Elam and Dr. Safar
were able to “prove that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is an effective lifesaving method”
in 1956, and they and another doctor named Archer Gordon promoted its use. In a JAMA article published in 1960, an electrical
engineer named William B. Kouwenhoven and his colleagues James Jude and Guy Knickerbocker
presented the concept of “closed-chest cardiac massage,” which was a “method of restoring
circulation in a heart-attack victim by pushing down rhythmically on the sternum.” Winters states that the “combination of
Kouwenhoven’s technique with Safar’s ventilation technique evolved into the basic method of
CPR.” In 1960, the AHA began a program that became
the “forerunner of CPR training for the general public.” Hands-only CPR is a more recent development. Winters states it emerged from research conducted
at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center in the mid-1990s. This research led to the discovery that “continual
chest presses kept blood circulating in adult victims of cardiac arrest better than conventional
CPR techniques.” Hands-only CPR for adults was adopted by the
AHA in 2008. Would you perform CPR on someone who needs
it? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
How Does Lethal Injection Work? What Happens If It Fails? Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

Reader Comments

  1. When I was a freshman in high school they taught us how to do CPR. (I went to a vocational school with a nursing trade in it’s course selections)
    They taught us to sing Staying Alive while doing CPR to keep track of how many beats and how fast you’re pumping.

  2. You know I've been giving CPR to people for so long I should probably watch this to find out what I've actually been doing

  3. Important: Do NOT start a CPR on top of a bed or chest compressions will become bed compressions, useless. Use a hard surface.

  4. Im about to google how does CPR work today then your video came out. Like, how does blowing air into someone's mouth could prevent the brain from dying(this is what ive been taught)

  5. Most cpr done by medics is for the family or onlookers, most of the time they have been dead for too long to matter.

  6. Why should I perform CPR on my victims? Once I’m done. And they are dead. I want them to stay that way..

  7. I've studied CPR and even received a certificate, but I don't know if I could do it in a real situation. I think I would panic seeing the person in distress.

  8. I'm actually really glad this just popped up on my recommended- My mom has really bad COPD and heart issues and she's stopped breathing on me 4 times now. It's terrifying. I've been able to bring her back but I'm always scared she's going to go down and not start breathing again on her own. I learned CPR in school but they never taught us how to give breaths. You never know when you may need to use CPR

  9. 4:10 Actually this is backward. Before delivering any rescue breaths, you should check and sweep the mouth for any objects or you could just lodge it further with the force of the breath.

    Above all, if you ever find yourself in this type of situation and you need to do anything to save someone's life, just do chest compressions until help arrives.
    Do not attempt resuscitative breaths unless you have been certified and trained in CPR.

  10. Well about removing something someone is chocking on.. it’s complicated because you could potentially push it further down and do more damage

  11. If you got a baby you hold them on they're back, in your no dominant hand
    Putting a baby on the ground and giving them cpr is hella dangerous for their neck
    You need to hold their head stable while giving them cpr

  12. Never place your mouth on the unprotected mouth of a stranger, You can get all sorts of diseases from others mouths

  13. Just remember that stopping before help arrives (very unlikely) due to fatigue and resulting in death or Brian damage can result in a lawsuit

  14. To count the 10 seconds correctly and not be rushed because of the anxious situation, you've got to count like this: 1001 , 1002 , 1003 …
    Because when you say " one thousand one, one thousand two .." it will take about one second to say it and more accurate than saying 1 2 3 .

  15. Perfect vid only thing at –6:05 and later you dont want to give the infant or small child a to big of breath. Can be very unsafe from what I've heard.

  16. An AED does not start a stopped heart. It is used when the heart is defibrillating. Meaning beating erratically and not holding a steady Rhythm. The shock then stops the heart causing it to hopefully reset and start beating normally.

  17. How about doing chest compressions to the beat of this 70s disco hit Staying Alive; by the Bee Gees I hear this is perfect and recommended by the heart association.❤️ You just gotta know the song, and acquaint yourself with the instructional PSA. ( I'm staying alive)!! 🙂

  18. If you’ve started CPR you should just keep going even if you see “signs of life.” The casualty may sound or appear to be breathing but that could just be gasps. Unless a paramedic tells you to stop just keep going.

  19. Did he mention that it almost never brings someone back? Yes, it can keep brain and vital organs alive for some time, but it is the AED that restarts the heart. No AED=dead guy almost every time.

  20. Do not bend your elbows while compressing, push your body weight thru your arms using your hips, but before starting cpr call for Help and for an AED.

  21. you're friend: so you saved me with mouth to mouth huh?
    you're friend: can you help me tie this noose on the ceiling?

  22. I remember taking a two day first aid course, but always been a bit scared what if I did the CPR wrong or the patient ended up not really needing it and I broke their ribs for no reason

  23. It nice to see the methods of other countries for applying CPR. Some parts are the same what i learned in the Netherlands of CPR. I have a First Aid certificate for adults and children, plus for using a defibrillator. every year i need to do a refresher course to keep my certificate. But i Well tell you what i have leaned. For adults we use both our hand and push 5 to 6 centimeters (1.9 / 2.3 inch) on the chest with 30 compressions and 2 breaths. and call 112 (emergency number in Europe), For children we use one hand and push 4 centimeters (1.5 inch) on the chest, first 5 short breaths (you need to do that fast) and 15 compressions then 2 breaths and again 15 compressions. After that it is the standard CPR, 30 compressions and 2 breaths. For infants we use 2 fingers and follow the rules of the child.
    In the Netherlands we have an app that's called "hartslag nu" (heatbeat now). This app is linked when you call 112, When a person needs CPR you will get a message with the location and a location to the nearest defibrillator (when you are near in a distant of 3 kilometers (1.8 miles)). It takes 5 to 10 minutes for the ambulance to be at the emergency. So when i get an message i rush to that location and perform CPR before the ambulance is there.
    Note: The app called "Hartslag nu" is in the Netherlands an option to use to help. every person is free to chose this app.

    So i have shared my knowledge how we perform CPR in the Netherlands.
    And if you do not know how to perform CPU follow a course. How more people know how to perform it, the more a person can be saved from a cardiac arrest.

  24. In fact, if you perform it on a little child, then when you blow air in, you have to fill your cheeks with air, and only blow that amount of air. Because if you blow it normally as you would do it on an adult, you could actually rip apart in the child's lungs if you blow too much.

  25. In the UK, child CPR begins with 5 rescue breaths as children don’t have the 33% residual air that adults do.

  26. This video is word for word when it comes to actual cpr training. I just did the course and it sounds like they are reading their script out of the book American red cross has you read when earning your actual cpr certification, for all you emt/paramedic enthusiasts

  27. Please DO NOT put your mouth on someone else's. This is an older method. Use a mouthpiece (you can purchase this at the time you are being CPR certified), if not then continue chest compressions. If the person throws up, they will throw up into your mouth. Also if they have any diseases or anything that is contagious, this is a way in which you can contract it. Current CPR classes inform you to not continue the mouth-to-mouth method. I would definitely give CPR to someone who needs it but unless you are certified, please call 911 to help you through the process of CPR so it is beneficial to the victim/patient.

  28. An object search and a "mouth sweep" should be done PRIOR to giving ANY rescue breaths! Giving rescue breaths to a person who is choking could cause the object to become lodged further down the throat making it much harder to get it dislodged using the Heimlich maneuver..ESSENTIALLY with children/infats!! Thank u for posting the life saving information! 😁

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