The Importance of CPR

“The Washington County Extension Office, Washington County Fair Association and members of the Washington County Ambulance were able to provide CPR Training at the Washington County Fair Grounds, for the first time.  Because of this class, 37 people are now trained in how to give correct CPR, basic first aid and how to use an AED.  One participant stated that she hopes to never have to use her new skill but after tonight feels comfortable preforming CPR if there was an emergency.  That’s 37 people in our community, that can make a difference.  Not all people are comfortable doing CPR on a patient, but if you understand the process there are many other ways you can help in the event of an emergency.  Thank you to the local supporter who gave the donation to allow us to have the class.  Thank you for all that attended and thank you to all that helped out.”

Of course, CPR, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is important for several reasons. The American Heart Association says that immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest. In fact, 350,000 people in the United States die each year due to cardiac arrest. It is important to note that heart attacks and cardiac arrests are NOT the same thing. Heart attacks are a blood circulation issue, while cardiac arrest is an electrical issue in the body. For a heart attack, the person should be taken to the hospital. For a person in cardiac arrest, high-quality CPR should be administered immediately after calling 911.

For the typical adult, 30 chest compressions should be followed by two “rescue breaths” for a ration 0f 30:2, and 100-120 per minute. The common beat is to the catchy 1977 tune “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees. The depth of compression should be around 2 inches. An AED should be used if available. These are very simple to use as they give directions to the user as to what to do.

Of course, different people require different treatment, so be sure to look on the American Heart Association or the Red Cross website for a full list of duties.

Below is a list of seven steps to perform high-quality CPR for an adult, found and provided by the Red Cross.

1 CHECK the scene for safety, form an initial impression and use personal protective equipment (PPE)

2 If the person appears unresponsive, CHECK for responsiveness, breathing, life-threatening bleeding or other life-threatening conditions using shout-tap-shout

3 If the person does not respond and is not breathing or only gasping, CALL 9-1-1 and get equipment, or tell someone to do so

4 Kneel beside the person. Place the person on their back on a firm, flat surface

5 Give 30 chest compressions

  • Hand position: Two hands centered on the chest
  • Body position: Shoulders directly over hands; elbows locked
  • Depth: At least 2 inches
  • Rate: 100 to 120 per minute
  • Allow chest to return to normal position after each compression

6 Give 2 breaths

  • Open the airway to a past-neutral position using the head-tilt/chin-lift technique
  • Pinch the nose shut, take a normal breath, and make complete seal over the person’s mouth with your mouth.
  • Ensure each breath lasts about 1 second and makes the chest rise; allow air to exit before giving the next breath

Note: If the 1st breath does not cause the chest to rise, retilt the head and ensure a proper seal before giving the 2nd breath If the 2nd breath does not make the chest rise, an object may be blocking the airway

7 Continue giving sets of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths. Use an AED as soon as one is available! Minimize interruptions to chest compressions to less than 10 seconds.