Image: RDNE Stock Project, Pexels

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is a medical technique that can be used to save someone’s life, and you don’t need to take a first aid class to learn how either. Here, we look at the importance of CPR, when you may need to perform it, and how to learn the technique. 

When you may need to perform CPR

CPR is a technique that is used to help someone in cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops suddenly and with it, the blood flow is stopped to the brain and other organs. Someone in cardiac arrest is in a life-threatening condition and could die without immediate intervention. 

Signs of cardiac arrest:

  • The person is unconscious
  • The person is unresponsive
  • The person has stopped breathing or is not breathing normally 

You can find out more about cardiac arrest through the British Heart Foundation 

If you’re with someone who goes into cardiac arrest, you need to call 999 and start CPR to give them the best chance of survival.

Image: RDNE Stock Project, Pexels

Why you perform CPR

When you perform CPR on an individual that has the signs of cardiac arrest, you’re taking over the function the heart normally performs: The chest compressions help the heart to release and pump blood around the body and to the brain; the rescue breaths help to fill the lungs with oxygen so the brain isn’t starved. This is performed until either the individual regains consciousness, a defibrillator is located and used to restart the heart and the individual regains consciousness, or until the paramedics arrive. If you become exhausted and you need to stop, someone will need to take over. 

How to perform CPR

The British Heart Foundation has free resources readily available to help all individuals learn the technique of CPR, including: a step-by-step guide to CPR on adults and children, free online training for organisations, and RevivR, a free interactive online training you can do through your mobile

With the free, interactive and online course, which you can access through your mobile, you will learn how to recognise someone in cardiac arrest, understand the process of calling the emergency services in the event of a cardiac arrest; including a simulation on how the call may be handled, as well as the techniques to performing CPR with the opportunity to practice the technique on a pillow, and how to locate and use a defibrillator. In just 15 minutes you can learn how to perform CPR effectively in the event of an emergency. 

You really never know if or when you may need to perform CPR on someone, but should a stranger, colleague, parent, partner, sibling, child, friend or any of your loved ones experience a cardiac arrest, you’ll be armed with a simple technique that could save their life. 

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