Every year India loses 53 of its citizens per one lakh owing to Sudden Cardiac Death or SCD. This complication arises due to a cardiovascular illness mostly Coronary Artery Disease, often unevaluated and undetected for years. The heart suddenly stops beating or beats too feebly, not enough to maintain perfusion. This sudden lack of oxygen collapses the human being and there is only a window of about two minutes to revive. A proper CPR or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation could save millions of lives if applied on time.
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While India tops the chart when it comes to heart attacks in the young age group, often below 40 years, the CPR awareness is too miniscule a figure. While many countries have flagged CPR as an essential life skill like swimming, we are yet to come in terms with the same.
A silver lining at the end of the blind tunnel seems to have reached as the Cardiological Society of India with its network of over 5000 cardiologists is all set to train the masses in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai to learn the technique of CPR. The exercise will be facilitated through schools, colleges, malls, banks and other public places as well as through virtual platforms where anyone can learn about this life-saving skill.
“The immediate focus in our country should be on primary and secondary prevention programs. Through the Making India Heart Strong initiative, we are aiming to reach a wider audience to train people on CPR,” said Dr Debabrata Roy, Honorary General Secretary, Cardiological Society of India and a renowned cardiologist.
When to perform CPR
If you find someone who has collapsed in your presence and isn’t breathing, you would understand the person needs CPR. In case, they are breathing abnormally like grunting or gasping for air, you can still go forward and perform CPR.
CPR consists of two steps. While the first step is a 30 chest compression, followed by breathing mouth to mouth.
Chest Compression Steps
Here, our aim is to perform 30 chest compressions at the rate of 100-120/min followed by two breaths.
- Begin by placing one hand’s palm on the lower half of the centre of the chest.
- Place the other hand on top of the hand already placed. Grab by your wrist.
- You can also choose to interlock your fingers and push them outwards if you feel comfortable.
- Keeping arms straight and extended, press down on the chest.
- The chest should be compressed by 5 cm.
- Release the pressure.
- The rate of compression is important, not rhythm.
- Make sure the person is lying on their back on a straight surface.
- Breath should be delivered with the patient in a head-tilt/ tilt- chin lift position.
- Pinch and close their nose with your fingers.
- Put your mouth into their mouth.
- Start blowing.
- No air should be leaking sidewise.
- Ensure each breath lasts about one second and makes the chest rise.
- Allow the air to exit before the next breath.
- Blow twice. We call this rescue breathing.
- Check if the chest is rising up and down.
- If that doesn’t happen, tilt their head back, pinch the nose again and start blowing again.
- If you still don’t find any movement in their chest, start the compression process again.
Keep giving 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths. Repeat this routine for two minutes.