It’s a beautiful day to save a life

Aggiornamento: 2 feb

“It’s a beautiful day to save” would say Doc.Shepherd during one of his daily operations on Grey’s Anatomy. What if everyone would also use this mantra? In December we analyzed in a previous article ( the cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique on children and babies, today we will focus on the maneuver applied on adults.

As we have already said, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, in which someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped. It is an emergency procedure that involves chest compressions for adults between 5 cm and 6 cm deep at the chest level and at a rate of at least 100 to 120 per minute.

The objective of CPR is to delay tissue death and to extend the brief window of opportunity for a successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage. When the heart stops, the lack of oxygenated blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes. A person may die within eight to 10 minutes. Administration of an electric shock to the heart, termed defibrillation, is usually needed in order to restore a viable or "perfusing" heart rhythm.

Before starting CPR, it is important to check if the environment is safe for the person and if the person is conscious or unconscious. If they appear unconscious, tap or shake their shoulder and ask loudly, "are you OK?" If they don't respond and at least two people are available, ask someone to call 112 and get the AED while the other person begin CPR. If you are alone and have immediate access to a telephone, call your local emergency number before beginning CPR. Get the AED, if one is available.

The steps to perform a correct CPR are the following:

· Put the person on his or her back on a firm surface.

· Kneel next to the person's neck and shoulders.

· Place the heel of one hand over the center of the person's chest, between the nipples. Place

your other hand on top of the first hand. Keep your elbows straight and position

yourshoulders directly above your hands.

· Place two fingers at the tip of the breastbone and use both hands to give chest compressions.

Stack your other hand on the top of the one that you just put in position. Raise your fingers

sothey do not touch the chest.

· Use your upper body weight as you push straight down on, compress the chest at least 5

centimeters, but not too much or you will break the ribs! Push hard at a rate of 100 to

120compressions per minute.

If you have not been trained in CPR, continue chest compressions until there are signs of movement.

Rescue breathing can be mouth-to-mouth breathing or mouth-to-nose breathing if the mouth is seriously injured or can't be opened. The steps to perform are as follows:

· With the airway open (head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver), pinch the nostrils shut for mouth-to-

mouth breathing and cover the person's mouth with yours.

· Prepare to give two rescue breaths or until emergency medical personnel take over. Give t

hefirst rescue breath, lasting one second, watch to see if the chest rises. If it does rise, give

the second breath. Thirty chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths is considered

one cycle.

· As soon as an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available, apply it and follow t

heprompts. Administer one shock, and then resume CPR continuing performing cycles until

the medical team arrives there! Important rule: try to do not panic or put yourself at risk!

Of course, this type of events can never happen during your lifetime! If you are asking yourself what can you do now, the answer is easy: contact the nearest formation center (like red cross associations) and try to participate to one specialized course attended by specialist. This type of formation is useful for you and for the collectivity!

Articolo a cura di: Marco Terrana

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