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Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Life-Saving First Aid for Cardiac Arrest Victims - Part 1

August 17, 2012

Sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, is a condition where the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly, and it is one of the deadliest medical events. According to the American Heart Association, less than 8% of people who suffer SCA outside the hospital manage to survive. However, the chances of surviving an SCA can be doubled or tripled if cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is performed immediately after the attack. If you have a family member or friend who is at risk of SCA, you may be able to help him or her survive a heart attack by learning how to perform CPR.

What is CPR?

importance of cpr during cardiac arrestCPR refers to the use of chest compressions or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, or both, to deliver artificial blood circulation and oxygen to someone who is in cardiac arrest. It can be life-saving if it is performed soon after the heart has ceased to beat. Without CPR, it only takes three to six minutes for the victim to become brain dead. Although CPR does not ensure that the person will survive the attack, it can increase his or her chances of survival significantly.

How CPR Works?

As mentioned earlier, CPR consists of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The function of chest compressions is to restore blood flow to the brain, heart, and other organs, so that the SCA victim will not pass away before emergency assistance arrives. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, on the other hand, delivers oxygen to the person’s lungs and helps him or her breathe again. CPR is most effective when both chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation are performed.

In our next post, we will provide instructions on how to perform CPR properly.

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