Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency medical procedure that is to be carried out on persons who are unresponsive or, are no longer breathing at a normal, regular rate. It involves delivering chest compressions with artificial ventilation (breathing into the mouth) in order to restore regular blood circulation.
In the UK, one in five people will witness someone collapse but, the majority will not act upon it. With this, a shocking number of casualties miss out on life saving emergency medical attention with it unfortunately sometimes being left too late. The good news however, is that in recent years there has been a bigger drive to raise awareness of the importance of CPR meaning that many more people now know what to do in an emergency.
As an example, just last year (2018) an amazing 238,793 people learnt how to deliver safe and effect CPR in one day thanks to the campaign ‘restart a heart’. With great initiatives such as this raising awareness of CPR, it shows how much of a difference it can make.
To highlight how important CPR is, if someone suffers from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) out of hospital, they have a less than one in ten chance of survival. Learning how to deliver CPR to save someones life can take between thirty minutes and an hour - such little time can make the difference between saving a life and not.
If someone witnesses a cardiac arrest there are six easy steps to follow to help a patient. According to the British Heart Foundation, firstly you must shake and shout, check for normal breathing then call 999. Following this, give thirty chest compressions and two rescue breaths repeating every step until an ambulance arrives.
Anyone could be called on at anytime to deliver CPR, whether it is in a school, the workplace or at the shops, knowing how to give this life saving care is so important and as emergencies can happen anywhere at anytime, CPR is a great life saving skill to know.
There are approximately 30,000 SCA’s that occur every year in the UK out of hospital, with the survival rate jumping from 6% to 74% if CPR is delivered in the first three to five minutes, it is clear to see how much of a difference it can make.
With this being said, knowledge about CPR has become much more widespread in the media with various campaigns being launched across a number of charities. Due to this, as many as 5,000 lives a year can be saved with over three million people learning vital CPR skills in the UK in the past five years alone.
The importance of CPR should never be overrated, with this the more people that learn how to deliver it, the better.