CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is one of the most essential and critical part of saving a person’s life.
Most people who know the basics of administering CPR are giving 100-120 chest compressions per minute with 2 rescue breaths every after 30 compressions.
However, it is not enough to just ‘know’ CPR because these mistakes below are just some of the reasons why training and proper information are crucial.
Here are the most common mistakes that people do when administering CPR:
Giving mouth-to-mouth priority over chest compression:
Hands-only CPR have been widely used not just because it can reduce the anxiety of cross-contamination risk – which can increase the rate of bystander CPR – but most importantly, it can maintain enough amount of oxygen flowing to the body of the patient – especially for sudden cardiac arrest patients – even without the rescue breaths because chest compression basically helps the heart pump oxygen-rich blood to the body and brain.
With this being mentioned, if giving rescue breaths are complicated depending on the emergency scenario – if accessing a respiratory support or CPR mouth shield will take time – better not spend time and keep pushing hard and fast keeping 100-120 compressions per minute.
Not calling for medical help immediately:
When doing CPR, it is a standard to call the ambulance first. Another thing the responder can do is to call the emergency hotline and while talking to the operator can start performing CPR. The reason for this is to save time. You do not need to get tired first before calling for help. If you call for help as early as possible, you can administer CPR while paramedics take a few minutes traveling to your location.
Bending your arm:
Remember that the arms must be straight so that the shoulder is directly over your hands but with your elbows not locked. This way, there will be more consistent pressure to the chest hence, better support to the pumping of the heart. Also, pushing using your body weight is less tiring than using your arm muscle – which will help you continue doing CPR until the medical help arrives.
Not letting the chest rise or return to the normal position:
Pushing too fast or leaning to the patient’s body can prevent a full chest recoil. If the patient’s chest don’t fully rise before receiving another push, the heart will not expand to its fullest which will reduce the amount of blood and oxygen it can pump.
Not staying on the beat:
As mentioned above, pushing too fast will not give the heart time to expand and refill while pushing too slow can interrupt the continuous pumping of the heart. To avoid this CPR mistake, just follow the beat of the Bee Gees’ song ‘Stayin’ Alive’ which is used by almost all training facilities as a reference to properly perform 100-120 compression per minute.
Saving someone’s life can come in many forms. It is not only about CPR. Yes, CPR is the best method to provide life to a patient while waiting for paramedics but it is a mistake not to always assess the emergency situation before touching the patient. It is best to call the ambulance and help with crowd control rather than touching the patient when the patient has been electrocuted or has been exposed to harmful chemicals.