Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Each year approximately 350,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Effective training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can help reduce these statistics and significantly improve a victims’ chances of survival and recovery.
What is CPR?
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR for short is the act of providing chest compressions and breaths to a patient in Cardiac Arrest. When a patient is in Cardiac Arrest their heart is not pumping blood. Providing chest compressions and breath’s allows a rescuer to circulate blood and oxygen to the victim’s vital organs to sustain life until an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) or emergency medical responders arrive on the scene to take over care.
Studies show that chest compressions are the most important part of any CPR resuscitation attempt. Providing effective chest compressions incorporates more than just simply “pushing on the chest” There are certain key elements that need to be achieved and maintained for compressions to be considered high quality. These elements are Depth, Chest Recoil, and Rate.
For compressions to be effective, compressors must ensure that they are pushing deep enough with each compression based on the established American Heart Association (AHA) age guidelines:
- Adults (Puberty-Adulthood): Depth of AT LEAST 2 inches
- Children (1yr-Puberty): Depth of ABOUT 2 inches
- Infants (Birth-1yr): Depth of about 1 ½ inches or 1/3 rd the depth of the Infant’s chest
In addition to pushing deep with each compression, compressors must also ensure that they are allowing the chest to re-expand or recoil completely. This simple action gives the heart enough time to refill in between each compression and thereby maximizes the amount of blood and oxygen that is being forced out to the victim’s vital organs.
Rate of Compressions
Finally, rescuers must ensure that they are compressing at the correct speed. The American Heart Association has established a universal recommended rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
The importance of achieving the appropriate rate of compressions during a cardiac arrest resuscitation attempt cannot be overstated.
Rescuers may experience an increase in emotions and adrenaline during a cardiac arrest emergency, this is normal! Many individuals may ask “How can I ensure my compressions are being delivered at the correct rate?” Fortunately, there are a few mechanisms a rescuer can use to establish and maintain the appropriate rate of compressions during a cardiac arrest emergency.
One such mechanism is the use of a metronome device. “A metronome is a device that produces an audible click or other sound at a regular interval that can be set by the user, typically in beats per minute.” Rescuers can download a Metronome App on their phone and manually program the metronome to the appropriate 100-120 beats per minute required for effective high-quality compressions. Many Automated External Defibrillators (AED) also have built in metronome devices to assist the rescuer with their rate of compressions.
At times a metronome device may not be immediately available. An alternate way of achieving the appropriate rate of compressions is for the rescuer to hum a familiar tune in their head while providing high quality chest compressions. Many rescuers may not be aware that several chart-topping songs have beats that fall within the recommended rate of 100-120 compressions per minute:
Rate of Compressions Songs
- Stayin Alive by The Bee Gees 100/BPM
- Baby Shark by Pink Fong 115/BPM
- I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor 117/BPM
- Just Dance by Lady Gaga 119/BPM
- Dancing Queen by ABBA 101/BPM
- Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson 100/BPM
In a cardiac arrest every minute is critical. Starting high quality chest compressions immediately can quite literally mean the difference between life and death for a patient. Having various mechanisms, Mnemonics, and songs available that a rescuer can focus on while performing high quality chest compressions can increase rescuer proficiency and performance which can significantly increase a patient’s chances of survival and recovery.
For more information on the steps of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or to register for an upcoming course to learn these valuable skills please contact us at www.code1web.com