An emergency CPR guide for a sudden cardiac arrest
CPR can be defined as Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation; Cardio means "heart" and pulmonary means "related to lungs". Resuscitation is a medical word which means "to revive". CPR is a life-saving technique used in medical emergencies such as heart attack or cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest may be caused due to severe heart condition, suffocation, drowning, electric shock, etc. Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any point of time in any place. It is extremely vital for the bystanders to attempt to revive the patient rather than waiting for the doctor to arrive. The CPR technique to be used in dire condition is a combination of chest compression and mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing. It helps to restore the blood circulation in the heart and brain until medical treatment is available; it delays the tissue death and damage to the brain. People who often handle emergencies like doctors, lifeguards, firefighters are also trained in providing CPR.Dr Sai Sudhakar, Chief Cardiac Transplant Physician, Senior Interventional Cardiologist and Director, Cath Lab, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Hyderabad discusses more on CPR.
It is estimated that about 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. In the end, CPR can sustain a person for a short amount of time but to be fully resuscitated they will need advanced care such as medication and electric shock. The purpose of CPR is not to "start" the heart, but rather to circulate oxygenated blood, and keep the brain alive until advanced care (especially defibrillation) can be initiated. As many of these patients may have a pulse that is impalpable by the layperson rescuer, the current consensus is to perform CPR on a patient who is not breathing
Dr Sai Sudhakar, Chief Cardiac Transplant Physician, Senior Interventional Cardiologist and Director, Cath Lab, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Hyderabad is of the opinion that "Survival is directly linked to the amount of time between the onset of sudden cardiac arrest and defibrillation. If no bystander CPR is provided, a victim’s chances of survival are reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute of delay until defibrillation." He further added “Anyone can learn CPR – and everyone should! Sadly, 90 percent of Indians may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know when to administer and how to administer CPR. Put very simply: The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love. Once you have learned CPR, give 5 people you care about the power to save lives by equipping them to act quickly in a crisis. Don’t be afraid; actions can only help. If one sees an unresponsive adult who is not breathing or not breathing normally, call for emergency medical help and push hard and fast on the center of the chest,”.
Reason for CPR :
Nearly 70 percent of cardiac arrests take place at home. Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors. Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may lead to cardiac arrest.
Importance of immediate action:
Failure to act in a cardiac emergency can lead to unnecessary deaths.
Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Sadly, less than 1% percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive and especially in rural India chances are remote. Hence there is need for medical education programs, training and awareness.
Hands-Only™ CPR (CPR with just chest compressions) has been proven to be as effective as CPR with breaths in treating adult cardiac arrest victims.
Save Lives :
Statistically, if called on to administer CPR in an emergency; the life you save is likely to be someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent or a good friend.
In India, less than 1% of the bystanders in urban cities are responsive to cardiac arrest victims compared to other countries due to lack of training. In United States, nearly 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR. On average, the success rates are 3-5% nationwide, but that is a rough estimate because as mentioned above no one has collected enough data to look at it. In some metro cities with public access defibrillation or “community AED programs.” It is noted that an immediate CPR provided by the bystanders within 3 to 5 minutes of the initial shock can rescue life. The reported survival rates from VF sudden cardiac arrest are as high as 48 to 74 percent.