Home / Opinion / Duty Beckons – BASIC LIFE SUPPORT


A short recap before moving on….The brief stepwise description of measures that one must take is as follows:
1. Ensure safety
2. Check response
3. Shout for help
4. Call 1122
5. Check carotid pulse
6. Begin CPR
7. Two rescue breaths
How to do an effective CPR, is what you get to learn during a BLS course. Once you begin a CPR, you give thirty chest compressions alternating with two rescue breaths.
How are chest compressions delivered?
i) Place the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest.
ii)Place other hand on top.
iii)Interlock fingers.
iv)Compress the chest.
v)The rate of compressions delivered has to be 100-120/min
vi) The depth of each compression has to be 2-2.5 inches
vii)The ratio to be followed is
Equal compression: Relaxation
viii)When possible change CPR operator every two minutes.
Given above is the way to deliver effective chest compressions to ensure a good QUALITY CPR. If the quality of the CPR is compromised it’s worse than doing any CPR at all.
After thirty chest compressions, the provider quickly moves to the face and gives two rescue breaths to the victim. The way to administer rescue breaths is again a technical skill, and requires learning and practice. In writing, it can be said…
>Gently extend the neck of the victim
>Pinch the nose
>Take a normal breath
>Place lips over mouth
>Blow until the chest rises
>Take about one second
>Allow chest to fall
While giving mouth to mouth resuscitation, always remember that it is never done without a face shield. Unless the victim is known to you and you are sure about his health status, certain about him not having any contagious disease YOU DO NOT GIVE RESCUE BREATHS WITHOUT A FACE SHIELD.
Always remember, this bystander intervention actually saves life. If this intervention is done timely, this can actually prevent someone from ending up in a cardiac arrest.
Secondly, you are only supposed to do a CPR, if you are certified to do that. Otherwise, REFRAIN. DO NOT DO IT, if you are not certified, or else it can land you as well as the victim in a bigger trouble. The idea behind dissipating this information on this platform is to let the reader know the importance of being a basic life support provider, and that anyone can be one. Any person, literate or otherwise can learn this skill and save lives.
Child CPR
According to the American Heart Association’s guidelines Child CPR is administered to any victim under the age of 8.
One thing to remember about Child CPR is that children are more resilient than adults and statistics have shown that they tend to respond to CPR much better if administered as soon as possible.
If the child is unresponsive and you are alone with him, start rescue efforts immediately and perform CPR for at least 1 to 2 minutes before dialing 1-1-2-2. The ratio of compression to two rescue breaths in a child is 15:2, i.e., fifteen chest compressions alternating with two rescue breaths.
Whenever possible, switch the BLS provider. The reason being the fact, delivering a quality CPR is fatiguing and if one person remains on compressions for long, the gradual built-up of fatigue, compromises the effectiveness of compressions, thus rendering the BLS useless.
Another very common scenario that we usually come across is that of an adult or more commonly an infant choking on something, and facing a sudden unforeseen crisis that requires immediate action, to save life. Learning the skill to help in such a situation is a part of a BLS course.
(To be continued…..)

About Dr. Rabia Nazir

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