Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) has been around for decades. From its beginning, the skill was rudimentary and as undeveloped as it could be. In fact, in some countries, CPR is performed differently than the rest of the world. In those countries, some people do CPR by standing or jumping on a victim’s chest which is incorrect. Some people will take a child who has drowned and placed them on their shoulder and jump up and down to clear the water from the child’s lungs which is also incorrect and mouth to mouth is still given but not systematically. Mouth-to-mouth in those countries is given randomly or when the rescuer decides to do it. Currently, CPR is performed by people who have attended a certified class and issued a card indicating his and her completion.
The leading authority and non-profit organization that governs CPR for the United States and the world is the American Heart Association (AHA) and the British Heart Association (BHA). The BHA is similar, and both base their techniques and decisions on research. Research is the key to survival because we see what can happen if we do CPR too late, how it is done after a rescue from a cold-water immersion, and whether mouth-to-mouth is necessary for the lay person. The bottom line is that without CPR, people will suffer irreversible brain and organ damage. This damage intervention comes from definitive care as well as prehospital care.
Since CPR was established, many people have performed it with and without success. The failures and successes are continuedly researched to find alternatives or to add or subtract a way of doing it. Although some of the techniques have changed, there are still blank spots filled with common questions from people all around the world. Some of those questions include:
- Why should I help if I don’t know the victim?
- Can I get a disease with hands-only CPR?
- Can I get sued if the victim doesn’t survive?
- When can I stop CPR?
- Is there a time when I should not do CPR for a victim who may need it?
- What if I break ribs?
- If I want to do mouth to mouth and the dentures are loose, what can I do?
- What if I want to do CPR and somebody else doesn’t want me to?
- What am I to do if no one shows up to help me?
- What happens if I can’t get in touch with 911?
- Should I do CPR on a stillbirth?
- Can I get sued if I don’t do CPR?
- If I do CPR and am not certified, can I get sued?
- How can I do CPR if I am disabled?
These common questions are asked by people who are disabled, elderly, on drugs, educated, high school students and even elementary and middle school students. The answers are in the AHA Question and Answer (Q&A) section along with explanations behind it. In addition, the answers are found on the Internet and on CPR Headquarters website.
Some people believe that the questions asked are dumb. On the contrary, dumb questions do not exist when it comes to saving lives. However, if the question is not relevant to the topic, it may be considered dumb. It is not a dumb question if the topic conforms to the entire presentation. It must be understood that the human body and life on this planet is the most complex organic form ever created. The body has ways of adjusting to cold by vasoconstriction or constriction of the arteries and veins. The body also has the capability of staying warm by vasodilation. The adjustment of the body’s needs occurs when it wants to survive, including keeping the heart and brain functioning.
Since the body wants to survive, the adjustments that it goes through requires the assistance of artificial means from someone else who is willing to help. The body does not want to die, and it will fight until the end to survive. CPR is a tool, technique and a skill that helps to body survive. Thus, the questions asked by many people are important and included in research to improve our way of helping each other.
The questions of CPR should continue to be asked. The answers from experts turns those questions into a physical activity that helps the body’s defensive systems maintain a functioning but sick person who will recover over time.