R is for Resuscitation – The A-Z of First Aid with Optimum First Aid

The biggest thing you can do in first aid is simply to be willing to stop and offer help. According to UK research conducted back in 2010 only one in ten people were willing to do CPR if they found a child on the street lying unresponsive and not breathing.  A further 62% of the UK adults surveyed by The British Heart Foundation, did not know what to do when a cardiac arrest occurs, while over half of them have never received training for CPR.

The skills we’re going to look at today in our blog are what most of us think of when we talk about first aid.  CPR.  The letters CPR stand for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  

First aiders refer to CPR as the basic first aid procedures that can be used to keep someone alive until the emergency medical services can get to the scene. The most important skills are chest compressions to pump blood around the body, and rescue breaths to provide oxygen. Rescue breaths are also known as the ‘kiss of life’.

Here’s our very simple and easy guide to CPR best practice (DR ABC).

Danger – Look for any danger (you, casualty and any bystanders).

Response – Are they alert? Are they responding to voice (talk into each ear) or touch (pat their shoulders).

Airway – Check nothing is in the front of the mouth (remove). Open the airway.

Breathing – Check for regular, rhythmic breathing (looking down the line of the chest, feeling for breath against the cheek and listening for breathing in your ear).

Call for Help 999/112 & AED – If adult.  If child 5 initial inhalations, continue repeating 30 compressions & 2 inhalations for 1 min then get help.

CPR – 30 Compressions to 2 inhalations, repeat until help arrives.

Top tips:

Always remember that you should not put yourself in danger.  

There are only 4 instances in which you should stop giving CPR, these are:

  1. When a healthcare professional tells you to stop.  
  2. When you are physically too exhausted to continue.  
  3. When the casualty regains consciousness and is fully alert and breathing normally.
  4. When another first aider is able to provide CPR support.  Minimise delays when changing and do not interrupt chest compressions. The optimum time for first aiders to swap over is every 2 mins.

Did you know?

You can improve someone’s chances of survival by up to 75% if CPR is given in the first 3 mins.

Depths of compressions are: adult – 6cm, child – 5cm, baby – 4cm.  It is better to go deeper than not deep enough!

There is a strong possibility that you detach a rib and so don’t be surprised if this happens.  This is a secondary problem, your priority is inhalations and compressions.

If you are unwilling (infection) or unable (not trained or unable to provide a seal over the mouth) to give chest compressions, carry out chest compressions only.

If the person vomits whilst giving CPR, roll the casualty onto their side, tip the head back and allow the vomit to run out.  Wipe their face and continue giving CPR, using a protective barrier if possible.