In an instant, a person’s life rests in your hands. The only thing standing between them and death is your reaction and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) correctly.
CPR is a lifesaving emergency procedure which combines chest compressions often with artificial ventilation to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person.
In order to aid people, Willem Rossouw and Malan Snyman of Newcastle’s ER24 EMS step up to help educate people on CPR.
In regard to new developments in CPR, Malan explains the methods involved are reviewed every two years. This is to establish what does or does not work.
With the current method proving to be effective, Willem and Malan explain what is required. Malan begins by saying, “You need to empower yourself, in that you have to know what to do. You can even learn about CPR through a 5-minute video on YouTube.”
However, he stresses when performing CPR, it is instrumental to perform rapid chest compressions of approximately 2 inches deep. Additionally, he explains it is imperative that you contact an ambulance service as soon as possible.
Malan elaborates, “When it comes to a timeframe, we have what is called the Golden Hour. During these 60 minutes, which includes when the person first needs medical attention, we like to respond as quickly as possible to get them to hospital.”
With quick chest compressions, Willem highlights that one of the most important things to avoid is pushing against a person’s stomach. He explains, “Compressions on a person’s stomach pushes stomach fluids into the person’s lungs. Always push on the chest.”
Furthermore, Willem also points out that mouth to mouth CPR is not as important as movies often depict. “This is especially important with COVID-19,” Willem stresses.
As the body retains approximately 75% of its air, Willem explains that chest compressions are often enough until paramedics arrive. “We have the necessary equipment to help with air, if it is needed.”
The chest compression format of CPR will be sufficient for people who require CPR after having a heart attack or who have suffered a drowning incident.
But what happens when you are at a mall or shopping complex, a person collapses, and they require CPR?
Willem and Malan point out that most malls and shopping complexes are equipped with an automatic heart defibrillator.
Malan highlights that a defibrillator is ideal for non-medical professionals in an emergency. This is because the machine explains what must be done, step-by-step, as a person uses it. Willem adds, “Even a 5-year-old child can use it.”
However, both Willem and Malan point out that it is important to avoid panicking and ensure someone rushes to get the defibrillator when required.