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When Do You Administer CPR? And How?

Emergency Medical Technician and ambulanceLearning how to do CPR is one of the best skills to have in our day and age.

It can be used to help rescue anyone who has lost consciousness, lost the ability to breathe properly, or has improper blood circulation. Learning how to do CPR is one important step, but knowing exactly when to administer it is almost as important and knowing how to perform CPR.

When to Administer CPR

A general rule of thumb for administering CPR is that it can and should be used for anyone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating. Although there may be some cases where using CPR may not be recommended (by a physician), if it is not easily known to you (through a medical tag, for example), then you should administer CPR until help arrives.

A few scenarios where you may need to administer CPR are as follows:

  • Anyone involved in a vehicular accident (make sure it’s safe when crossing roads)
  • Choking patrons at a restaurant
  • Anyone who has suffered near-drowning or suffocation
  • Anyone who has undergone electrocution injuries (make sure they are no longer exposed to electricity first)

Look for Medical Tags

Another tool that you can use to identify patients who may need CPR is to look for a piece of medical jewelry, commonly a bracelet. These bracelets usually have the caduceus symbol (two snakes and wings) or the Rod of Asclepius (a single snake). These pieces of jewelry are used by individuals who may be administering CPR or treating the person medically (when they are unconscious) to provide special and important information.  If the person is wearing a medical alert button, you should press it to send a signal that the person is in need of emergency assistance.

What If I Don’t Know How to Do CPR?

Not knowing how to do CPR is an easy problem to fix. Classes are taught in virtually every city across the US. For example, if you live in cities of Orange, Laguna Hills or Corona, California, you can register for classes at a certified office. Most classes do not take very long and can be done in a single night, even with zero prior experience.


What Is CPR?

CPR – or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. CPR consists of chest compressions often combined with artificial ventilation ("mouth-to-mouth" or using a bag) to keep the brain intact until a person can get full medical attention.  Immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.

CPR was developed around 1960 by  doctors who combined mouth-to-mouth breathing with chest compressions to save lives.  It is estimated that between 100,000 and 200,000 lives could be saved each year if CPR were to be performed early enough.

CPR is estimated to be somewhere between 12% and 40% effective in saving lives, depending on when and where the CPR is performed.

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