Anatomy Physiology

Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a first aid procedure used to help a person who has lost respiration and heartbeat. It is a measure that is used as a temporary situation until professionals can arrive and make critical medical decisions.

There are many things that may cause both the heartbeat and respiration to fail. Typically is it some kind of trauma to the body that causes respiration to stop. It may come from car accidents, electrocution, and other trauma to the body. It can also be caused by illness of the nervous system.

When the heart and breathing stop the damage to the body begins as quickly as three minutes. It is imperative to begin CPR as quickly as possible in this situation.

Why is the damage so quick? What is happening? The blood pumped by the heart is how all the vital organs of the body get their nutrients and oxygen. When the heart stops pumping there is no delivery of oxygen and the organs begin to suffocate. The waste is not removed and the process of respiration can not happen.

What CPR accomplishes is forcing the heart to beat through pressure on the heart from the person pressing down on the heart outside of the chest cavity. A person trained in CPR would put his/her hands about three fingers width above the xyphoid bone located at the center and bottom of the rib cage. They would begin compressions and breathing for the injured party as well. By pushing on the heart in this manner it causes the heart muscles to expand. This mimics the natural rhythm and action of the heart. This would at least facilitate some movement of blood and oxygen to vital organs. The change is pressure in the vanae cava, the aorta and the pulmonary vesicular system that moves the blood keep the brain alive.

Once CPR is started it must be continued until medical professions arrive and can take over and make critical decisions.

There may be some visible signs that CPR is working. If color begins to return to the victim it is a sign that the CPR is working. If there is a faint heartbeat that returns it is a good sign. If the victim coughs or there is air coming out of the nose it is a sign that the CPR is working. However, it is important to remember that to continue to perform CPR even if these signs are not visible.

It would be well worth the time to enroll in a class and become certified in CPR. Nothing feels more helpless than seeing some one who needs the help and not having the tools and understanding to make a positive difference. Typically classes take about four sessions and teach both adult, children, and infant CPR.