CPR must be learnt by one and all

Monika, New Delhi
Legendary Pakistani Cricketer Hanif Mohammad was brought back to life after being clinically dead for six minutes. He, unfortunately, passed away due to old age complications a little later. What seemed like a miracle to the public is a medical routine. He was brought back to life through the process of CPR, a life-saving technique that is easy to learn and can be performed by anyone.

40% of all sudden cardiac events are revivable with simple hands only CPR10, and the same can be increased to 60% using external electric shock machines called AED. It should be mandatory for all public places to have AEDs and large scale public training sessions must be held on Hands-only CPR 10. We at the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) in the past two years have already trained over 1.5 lakh individuals including 100% of the Delhi Police PCR van staff that was trained in association with IMA, said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General IMA.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the number one killer in India taking an estimated 25 lakh lives annually. According to the data revealed by the Delhi Economical Survey, 150 to 250 deaths happen in the city every single day. Out of these 25 – 45 deaths occur suddenly. With 60% of the people dying before they reach the hospital and a large number of sudden cardiac arrest victims; it is essential that each one of us must know the essential life-saving technique of Hands-only CPR – 10. A simple and easy to learn technique, Hands-only CPR 10 does not require any mouth-to- mouth resuscitation and can be performed by anyone.

The hands-only CPR 10 mantra is extremely simple to remember and can help save a person’s life. It does not require mouth-to- mouth breathing unless the victim has died due to drowning or is a small child. What each of us needs to remember is that within 10 minutes of death (earlier the better), for a minimum of 10 minutes (the longer, the better), compress the centre of the chest of the deceased person continuously and effectively with a speed of 10×10 = 100 per minute. Chest compression should be stopped only when the person starts breathing or the ambulance arrives, added Dr Aggarwal.

The first few minutes of the death of a sudden cardiac arrest victim are crucial since the more time that passes, the lesser the chances of their revival through CPR. One must not waste any time and start chest compressions immediately if the victim has no pulse and is not breathing. Administering Hands-Only CPR 10 within the first minute of death due to a sudden cardiac arrest can save the life of 90% of the patients. People must be patient and not stop chest compressions till the person is not revived.

Patients who suffer from hypothermia or have a body temperature less than 35 o C can take over hours to get revived since only when their body temperature comes back to normal will the CPR be effective. There are instances in ancient literature where a newborn with hypothermia was declared dead but revived in the cremation ground when the environment heat brought his temperature to normal, and the pressure on the chest had effects similar to a cardiac massage. It is important to remember that CPR should only be performed on a hard surface. The victim should be made to lie on the floor, face towards the ceiling. The person performing CPR must stand on his knees, elbows straight and hands interlocked.

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