CPR (CARDIO PULMONARY RESUSCITATION) is given to someone whose heart has stopped pumping blood and is divided into two key skills – pushing on the chest to circulate blood to the brain, and giving breaths.
If a persons heart has stopped beating, oxygenated blood is not sent to the brain to keep it alive. Approximately 4-6 minutes of the brain being starved of oxygen and the brain begins to die. Effective CPR ensures that blood is pumped to the brain to prevent brain death occurring. TIME is vital! Recognizing that someone needs CPR , calling for help , getting an AED and starting CPR straight away will give a person the best chance of survival.
If a child is not responding and not breathing the child needs CPR.
STEPS to perform CPR
Before approaching anyone in need of any medical care it is important that you first check that it is safe for you to help. Are there any dangers present that may cause you harm? Please also remember to protect yourselves with gloves or a non-permeable layer like a plastic bag so that no body fluid e.g.: blood, urine, vomitus et al. come into contact with your bare skin.
CHECK FOR A RESPONSE
Once we have made sure it is safe to approach the person we want to help, we have protected ourselves with gloves, we then need to check if they are responsive. We doing this by tapping on them, calling out to them, and looking to see if they respond to us in any way – CHECK do they move? Speak? Blink? Or react in any other way that shows us they are alive.
CALL FOR HELP
Should there be no reaction we need to call for help * please refer to emergency numbers at the end of this article*, Call for someone to come and help you, tell them what emergency number to call and ask them to get an AED** (Automated External Defibrillator). If you are alone with the child i.e.: nobody to go and call for help, you will need to perform 5 sets of pushing on the chest (30x) and giving breathes (2x) (as described below) before leaving the child to go and call for help.
**AED’s are found in gyms, airports and shopping centres all over South Africa
Take 5 to 10 seconds to look from the Childs
head to their tummy to see if they are breathing. Should there be no breathing or if the Child is only gasping (gasping is not normal breathing) it is time to START CPR, starting with pushing on the chest.
Make sure the child is lying down on his/her back on a firm flat surface, move the Childs clothes out of the way so that their chest is exposed, then place the heel of one of your hands on the lower part of the breastbone (sternum). Keep your arm straight, no bending of your elbow and push down approximately 5 – 7 cms. After pushing down allow the chest to come back up to it’s starting position before pressing down again and repeating the push as above. If you are unable to push down the chest 5-7 cms with one hand on the chest, place your other hand on top of the first either clasping your fingers together or just resting your hand on top of the first hand and continue to push on the chest.
After each push remember to allow the chest to come up back to its starting position.
You are going to need to push 30 times at a rate of at least 100 pushes in one minute.
Place one hand on the Childs forehead and your pointer and middle finger of the other hand on the bone part of the Childs chin. Use the hand on the forehead to tilt the head back, and your two fingers on the chin to lift the Childs chin. It is important not to put any pressure on the soft part of the neck. This opens the airway so the air we breathe into the Childs mouth has a better chance of going into the Childs’ lungs.
While holding the Childs airway open (as described above), pinch the Childs nose shut, place your mouth over the Childs mouth and breathe into the Childs mouth twice. You should only blow for 1 second and should be watching the Childs chest out of the corner of your eye. If the breath has gone into the Childs lungs you will see the chest rise.
Should you not see the chest rise reopen the airway by first placing the Childs head in the normal position then following the guidelines under AIRWAY- head tilt chin lift, then give another breath.
If on your second attempt there is still no chest rise don’t attempt a breath again in this cycle move straight to pushing on the chest30 times before attempting another two breaths.
PUSHING ON THE CHEST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART and should not be interrupted for more than 10 seconds when attempting to breathe.
You should continue to give 30 PUSHES & 2 BREATHS until a healthcare provider takes over from you or until the child starts to breathe.
SHOULD YOU BE UNABLE TO GIVE BREATHS REMEMBER YOU CAN STILL DO A LOT OF GOOD BY JUST PUSHING ON THE CHEST – HANDS ONLY CPR
IMPORTANT EMERGENCY SERVICES CONTACT NUMBERS
NATIONAL AMBULANCE & FIRE 10177
INTERNATIONAL NUMBER FROM A CELLPHONE – NO SIM REQUIRED 112
EMER-G-MED 0861 007 911
NETCARE 082 911 NATIONAL
MAPONYA 0861 960 960
BUTHELEZI ONE STOP EMS 086 1555 5111