When Should CPR Be Used ?

When Should CPR Be Used ?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure to be used when a person has a cardiac arrest or whose heart and/or breathing has stopped. The heart and/or breathing can stop from a number of causes, including heart attack, choking, drowning or electric shock.

However, the causes cannot be limited to these. Any circumstance or trauma that leads to breathing being stopped or heart being stopped could be given CPR. This also included certain cases of drug overdose and asthma attacks too. 

A few causes have been discussed below:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes: this is potentially fatal as the blood flow to a part of the brain suddenly stops. This deprives that part of the brain off oxygen
  • Drowning or near-drowning incidents: This happens when the person is under water for too long. When a person drowns, water enters his airway and this water cuts off the supply of life-giving oxygen to the lungs.  
  • Choking on something that blocks the entire airway. This causes stopping of breathing just like in the case of drowning, except that here water does not block the airway.
  • A serious neck, head, or back injury
  • Severe electrical shock: This is caused by from touching a high voltage power line
  • Drug overdose
          When breathing has stopped, it indicates that the heart has stopped. When the heart has stopped, it stops pumping blood in the body. However, we have learnt that blood carries oxygen and when blood is circulated in the body, all the vital organs are oxygenated and this helps the functioning of the vital organs including brain. However, if the blood is not being circulated, vital organs may not receive oxygen and this leads to a potentially fatal situation, sometimes even death. Sudden death can be avoided by giving CPR by trying to give the victim rescue breaths and chest compressions.

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When Should CPR Be Used