When To & How To Give It?
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is one of the techniques of CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is not same as CPR and you can do it without performing CPR. Mouth to mouth resuscitation is also known as artificial respiration. It is a metabolic process, through which, a rescuer stimulates or assists respiration for overall gas exchange in a victim’s body via external respiration, pulmonary ventilation and internal respiration. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is performed in many ways but the general process is all about providing air to an individual who is unable to breathe on his/her own.
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, as mentioned above is part of CPR protocols. It is also an important skill and expertise for first aid. There are certain situations, where mouth-to-mouth resuscitation must be performed in a separate manner – opiate overdoses, near-drowning situations.
Peter Safar and James Elam are the inventors of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation procedure. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is also known as breath of life!
When should you give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is the initial first aid/CPR procedure, which you use on individuals who stop breathing. Through this particular technique, the rescuer breathes in the place of the incapacitated individual via air exhalation that into the lungs in a forcible manner.
How to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is amongst the most vital skills, through which you can save a life. But you can successfully administer this procedure and get favorable results, if know the steps and follow them perfectly.
Before performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, you need keep with you a piece of cloth and watch.
Step-by-step procedure of giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation –
- First you need to tap the shoulder of the concerning victim in order to determine whether he/she is conscious or not. Ask loudly to confirm. If you don’t get any response, ask again and tap on the shoulder – continue for few times. If at all, the person fails to respond, start giving mouth-to-mouth breathing.
- First tilt the head of the person back with the help of your hands. Place your hand on the forehead and with the other hand’s two fingers lift the victim’s chin.
- In the next step, observe the victim. Look at him/her, listen and try to feel the air being exhaled from the mouth of the victim by bending your ear to the victim’s mouth.
- Apart from monitoring the exhaled breath, you also need to check the victim’s chest, in order to see the rise and fall of the same.
- After observing the above, check for any kind of obstruction, especially in the airway of the victim.
- Close the victim’s nose with a pinch and take a deep breath. Seal your lips on the mouth of the victim and breathe into it for many times. But do keep in mind to pause after every exhalation and the inhale.
- While breathing in, continue to feel for the victim’s breathing and carry on with the process in a steady manner. Also take intervals at a regular frequency and pause to take a breath yourself.
- Look and feel the rising and falling of the victim’s chest too and make sure that your breaths are passing through the victim effectively.
This procedure is first aid’s cornerstone and also an alternative that to the use of BVM. It is a highly effective technique and a proven one too. However, most healthcare professionals do not use this method of giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In fact, many of the professionals and instructors don’t teach this technique, as it is not used in any of the clinical areas.
Why mouth-to-mouth resuscitation not used by professionals?
Professionals don’t recommend mouth-to-mouth resuscitation being performed on cardiac arrest victims, with the exception of emergencies concerning children. The reason is that most of the patients of cardiac arrest still have the presence of oxygen in their bloodstream. Thus, the priority is to start the heart again, more than giving oxygen to the lungs. In the case of children and infants with cardiac arrest the situation is different.
CPR is highly effective on adults who collapse suddenly, especially when the rescuer gives focus more on chest compression than giving mouth-to-mouth ventilation. Many bystanders prefer not to give CPR on individuals who have had sudden medical emergencies like, collapse, cardiac arrest etc. solely because of the thought of giving mouth-to-mouth ventilation. Furthermore, giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation causes major time lapse.
Why does the American Heart Association still teach the procedure of giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?
AHA still provides training and education related to giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation because many cardiac arrest victims go into such medical emergencies because of getting insufficient amount of air. These victims are inclusive of drowning victims, victims who have had drug overdose etc. Such victims don’t have the required amount of oxygen present in their bloodstream. Therefore, it becomes highly necessary to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Professionals do not completely give up on the procedure of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. They provide the same techniques, via the use of a mask, equipped with a special hand pump that is connected to an oxygen tank. A professional will put the tube in the windpipe of the concerning victim and then directly pump oxygen via the tube that into the patient’s lungs.
There is another method of mouth to mouth resuscitation, called mouth to nose. In this method, a rescuer has to form a seal with the nose of the concerning patient. This method is use for maxillofacial injuries or when there is a presence of vomit in the victim’s mouth.
There is another method called mouth to mask resuscitation. Most of the organizations recommend this method. This is because there is a creation of barrier that between the patient and the rescuer, which ultimately reduces the risk of cross infection.
The alternative and more effective method of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation process is mechanical ventilation. This method makes use of mechanical ventilator, with which, you can move air into the lungs and out at the same time, especially on individuals who are unable to breathe on their own.
It is all about being informed and having the skills to perform the effective procedure of giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.