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CPR and AED With Basic Life Support - How Important Are They?

"Carmel Pittman" (2018-08-28)

Sudden illnesses and injuries can happen to anyone. It's always good to have ourselves equipped with some basic first aid procedures which can save the life of a co-passenger or any other individual with illnesses. Sudden illnesses are not developed over time, hence occur instantaneously and are at times difficult to determine the exact illness experienced. Appropriate first aid can be provided by understanding the symptoms associated with various illnesses. It takes a level of proficiency and training to perform the first aid especially when you are doing the CPR or BLS.

The common sudden illnesses include fainting, seizures, stroke, heart attacks and diabetic emergencies. CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is done when a person suddenly faces a cardiac arrest. Also known as the cardiac arrest, this is caused due to the cessation of the normal circulation of the blood to the heart. If CPR is not started within minutes for people going into cardiac arrest, it may cause permanent brain injury or death. CPR can be putting both the hands on the center of the victim chest, one on top of the other and pushing hard and fast. During a CPR the chest has to be compressed to at least 5 cm and is to be done around 100 times a minute. The purpose of CPR is to assist the circulation of blood manually. Artificial respiration is also recommended to push air into the victim's lungs. This has to be done in a rhythmic manner and until the medical personnel arrive. The CPR preserves the brain function. In a stroke, there will be very less or no breathing and blood supply to the brain causing it to become unresponsive and performing a CPR might help preserve the function of the brain.

Basic Life Support refers to the medical care which is to be provided for victims of life threatening injuries until medical help arrives. BLS concentrates mainly on the CAB's. Circulation - provide an adequate supply to the critical parts of the body. Airway - Maintain a clear path for the victim to breath, take in O2 and release CO2 back to the atmosphere. Breathing - inflation and deflation of the lungs. CPR and BLS are used interchangeably and refer to using a combination of rescue breaths and chest compressions in victims with cardiac arrest. CPR alone may not save the victim from an arrest, but buys us the valuable time required before the help arrives.

AED's or Automatic External Defibrillators are portable electronic devises that automatically diagnose the potentially life threatening cardiac scenarios in the patients and will be treating through defibrillation. AED's are used to provide shock to the heart which may help it stop the abnormal rhythm in case of a cardiac arrest and restart with its usual rhythm. AED trainings have been a part of almost all the first aid training sessions. The AED's are designed for layman's use and are accessible people of all age groups.

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