OHCA or out of hospital cardiac arrest is amongst the leading causes of deaths in adults in the US. Every year, nearly 300000 such cases are registered and about of this number, 92% are confirmed dead. Majority of victims fail to receive any immediate bystander CPR, which is the most important requirement at that moment. Bystander CPR and AED can increase survival rates. Which is why, bystander CPR is important and it can also influence the results after a victim is admitted to the hospital.
Bystander CPR and its importance
First of all, let’s get clear about the facts related to cardiac arrest. It is common and can happen at any given time or place. 88% of medical emergencies occurring out of cardiac arrest happen outside hospital premises, which means within the confines of one’s house or public places. In these cases, there is no chance of getting immediate response from medical personnel. And performing immediate CPR on the cardiac arrest patient is highly vital – a matter of life and death – with immediate action (CPR) survival chances can double, triple etc. Unfortunately, only 32% patients are handled and given CPR by a bystander present at the scene.
The sorry state of survival rates is a hint enough to understand the importance of bystander CPR. The moment when a person collapses due to cardiac arrest and action taken within 2 minutes is crucial. If a bystander gives CPR (chest compressions mostly) within those 2 minutes, the patient can be saved or at least we can buy enough time for the professionals to arrive and control the situation.
Giving chest compressions in a forceful manner is crucial because through it, a rescuer is able to circulate blood and make it flow in different parts of the organs, especially heart and brain of the victim. Giving mouth-to-mouth breath is not a mandatory thing, for a cardiac arrest circumstance. This is because, oxygen is present in the brain of the victim – at least enough to work along the situation – and with immediate chest compressions, the blood is made to circulate and flow. This causes the victim to gain consciousness and revive.
Those 2 minutes and with effective CPR meted out by a bystander, does help revive or resuscitate the victim and makes it possible for advanced medical professionals to move forward and complete the treatment.
Here is why every one of us should learn CPR –
When you might have to handle such an emergency, you never know. It can happen at home, to someone close to you or while you’re walking on the road. A bystander in such crisis is nothing less than a Good Samaritan.
When a person is in cardiac arrest, there are high chances that his/her will be in ventricular fibrillation. The heart will quiver with erratic activity and giving chest compression at that very moment might help the person revive or get the required time for advanced medical attention.
Assisting such individuals is a process called chain of survival. The chain starts with calling 911 and immediately performing chest compressions on the victim. This is known as early CPR. The other two phases are early defibrillation and advanced care. However, the first two parts – calling 911 and performing CPR – are the most critical ones. They can either help in saving the person’s life or cause one.
Bystander CPR rate is low
Knowledge can do wonders and lack of it – blunders. Bystander CPR rate is low because of lack of knowledge and awareness relevant to basic first aid and CPR. How many people know what CPR stands for? The number will be as short and simple as the answer – negligent number!
CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a protocol that is used for reviving a person in cardiac arrest, near-drowning or similar crisis, whereby he or she is unconscious and has a loss of heartbeat. CPR starts with giving forceful chest compression with both hands (hands-only CPR), followed by mouth-to-mouth breaths. The very sound of mouth-to-mouth breath, makes many of us stay away from acting or performing CPR, especially, if the concerning victim is a complete stranger. But it is here, where knowledge comes handy or for the victim – life saving. According to the current CPR guidelines, hands-only CPR or method is recommended for cardiac arrest patients. This is because requirement of the moment is enabling blood to flow into the heart and brain of the victim, which can be done by giving forceful chest compressions.
If each one of us gets trained and acquire the required knowledge about CPR and first aid, we can handle any medical emergency or at least avoid getting flustered and become confident enough to tackle crisis. The best way to achieve it all is by enrolling to a CPR training and certification program. The certification is valid for 2 years. You will have to renew it by undergoing the course again. This will help you get updated with the CPR guideline changes and more and keep you at breast with new developments. You as a bystander with prior CPR knowledge and training can also assist others to handle cardiac arrest patients too.