First Aid & CPR – What You Need To Know

First Aid and CPR

Chest Compression CPR

CPR, in full cardiopulmonary resuscitation, refers to the process of trying to save someone’s life when their heart has stopped beating. First aid CPR is a lifesaving technique, and since this condition can happen to anyone, anywhere, it is imperative that everybody, whether they are trained medical personnel or not, learn how to perform this technique. Some people are so afraid of getting it wrong (read about legal implications here) that they do not bother to try. Remember that it is better to do something than fail to do anything as this could be the difference between life and death.

Advice that you need to know if you want to learn CPR

  • If you have not been trained medically, it is recommended that you facilitate for hands-only CPR. What this means is that you will carry out chest compression’s continuously up until medical personnel arrive on scene.
  • If you are trained and continuously upgrade your skills, then it is recommended that you begin with chest compressions. You will then check the airway paths before proceeding to provide rescue breaths.
  • If you have trained in first aid CPR before, but are not well updated, you could just do the chest compressions. This should amount to about 100 chest compressions every minute.

Take note that these methods are applicable to adults, children and infants with the exception of newborns.

What is the purpose of first aid CPR?

CPR is done to ensure that oxygenated blood flows to the brain and other vital organs for as long as medical help has not arrived on scene. This also works to ensure that a normal heartbeat is maintained. When the heartbeat ceases, the brain does not receive oxygenated blood, and this causes brain damage in seconds. If left unattended, an individual passes away within ten minutes or so. There are a number of things that you must do before starting CPR.

  • Check to see whether the person is conscious or not.
  • If the person appears unconscious, and does not respond when you talk to them, call for medical help. After this, perform CPR and call for medical help again.
  • Remember the CAB- circulation, airway, breathing- as the steps of CPR.


CPR is used on people who, for whatever reason, cannot breathe on their own. Its purpose is to ensure that the vital organs are oxygenated. The brain cells get damaged after four minutes without oxygenated blood. Irreversible destruction of the brain cells occurs after about six minutes. What this means is that for first aid CPR to be effective, it has to be done within the first six minutes. This is an important technique for individuals to learn. The need to be careful is caused by the potential injuries that may arise depending on how the CPR is performed. Some of the complications that may arise include fracturing of the rib, the sternum as well as contusions. The benefits of this however, far outweigh the potential injury.

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