How ‘Stayin’ Alive’ Will Make You a CPR Lifesaver
If a coworker was suddenly unable to breathe or worse, stopped breathing, could you perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) correctly on the fly? National CPR and AED Awareness Week is a good time to get a pulse on how prepared you and your employees are to respond quickly to a medical emergency.
CPR is a Fundamental, Life-Saving Skill
What makes CPR so essential to help someone in need? Consider these facts from the American Heart Association (AHA):
- Every year, nearly 383,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital setting.
- CPR administered immediately can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
- The AHA provides CPR training to over 12 million people every year.
- Less than 50% of people who experience cardiac arrest receive immediate CPR assistance.
Know When to Perform CPR
While cardiac arrest is often mistaken for a heart attack, their causes and treatments are not the same. As outlined by the AHA, Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem and occurs when the heart stops beating unexpectedly and the person becomes unresponsive. Heart attacks happen when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked but the heart does not stop beating.
You should only perform CPR on a person experiencing a cardiac arrest. It is easy to tell the difference between the two by observing the person’s immediate symptoms. Simply put, if an individual is non-responsive or not breathing at all then you need to administer CPR. If the victim is responsive and experiencing shortness of breath, cold sweats, tingling or pain in extremities or chest discomfort, they are most likely experiencing a heart attack and do not require CPR. In either situation, call 911 immediately.
How to Perform CPR: 6 Steps to Help Save a Life
What makes CPR so useful is that once you know the steps, it is simple to administer, very effective and provides the person precious time before emergency services arrive. While it may seem scary if you’ve never done it before, the American Red Cross provides clear step-by-step instructions for anyone to follow:
- Before starting, make sure the scene is safe and call 911 for help.
- Try to communicate with the person. Tap them on the shoulder and shout “Are you OK?” to be sure the person needs assistance.
- Check their breathing and airways. If they are not responding or breathing, administer CPR.
- Begin CPR: Place one hand on top of the other in the center of the chest then push hard and fast. Use your body weight to give compressions at least 2 inches deep at a rate of at least 100 per minute. Tip: If counting the compressions is too tough, try compressing to the beat of the ‘70s disco hit “Stayin’ Alive.”
- After several compressions, tilt the person’s head back slightly to lift the chin, pinch the nose shut and place your mouth over their mouth to form a complete seal. Deliver two rescue breaths by blowing air into the person’s mouth to make the chest rise.
- Continue to give CPR compressions and rescue breaths until the person exhibits signs of life, an AED becomes available, or medical responders arrive.
Discover the 2 Step Hands-Only CPR
For those who may be uncomfortable with the idea of giving traditional CPR to a stranger or coworker, there is a simpler option: Hands-Only CPR. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. While CPR with breaths has been the gold standard, proper administration requires some training and a cool head – not easy in a chaotic, life-or-death situation.
Hands-Only CPR reduces the emergency procedure to 2 simple steps:
- Call 911 (or ask someone to make the call for you).
- Push hard and fast in the center of the chest with a rhythm of 100 beats per minute. Remember: Stayin’ Alive!
That’s it! Even without the mouth-to-mouth aspect of CPR, this technique has proven to be as effective as CPR with breaths when administered to teens and adults, which makes it perfect for the workplace. In 87% of cases, people perform CPR when they have the opportunity. The key is knowing when and how to perform it. When you’re prepared, there’s no need to fear – CPR education and training helps workers act quickly and confidently.
This month, FFVA Mutual is hosting an in-person 4-hour First Aid, CPR and AED training course at our corporate office in Maitland, Florida. Visit our registration page for more information and to sign up for this training event.