Every parent or adult who works with children should have CPR training. Imagine the horror of seeing a child stop breathing and not knowing how to help. Nothing replaces a class, but there are some CPR basics to know in case of emergency.
CPR (or cardiopulmonary resuscitation) uses mouth-to-mouth breathing techniques and chest compressions to restart the heart and lungs when a victim’s breathing or heart have stopped. It may be necessary in the event of a near drowning or a sports injury such as a heart attack while playing. CPR can save lives by restoring breathing functions and by keeping blood flowing to the heart and other essential organs until help arrives. There are 6 basic steps to administer CPR to a non-responsive victim:
- Make sure that the surroundings are such that CPR can be performed safely;
- Check breathing and heart rate for response;
- If the victim is not responsive, call 911 immediately. Ask someone nearby to look for an AED (automated external defibrillator) device. An AED device sends an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm;
- Begin chest compressions: Place one or two hands on the lower center part of the chest and push down approximately 2 inches with the heels of the hands. Release and allow the chest to move back up so the heart can fill with blood. Repeat chest compressions 30 times;
- Once the chest compressions are done, tilt the victim’s head back by placing one hand on the victim’s forehead and the other hand on his or her chin to open the airway. Breath into the victim’s mouth for one second. You should see his or her chest rise during the breath. If the chest does not rise, reposition the head to make sure the airway is open. Repeat for two breaths;
- Continue the cycle of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths until the victims begins breathing or responding or until emergency help arrives.
Note that if other people are present, it is a good idea to take turns applying CPR to prevent exhaustion and maximize the benefit for the victim. When trading off, you should perform 20 chest compressions and then switch to allow the next person to do the final 10 chest compressions and 2 breaths. This will help to minimize interruption to flow time.
Knowing how to administer CPR can save the life of a child who suffers a heart attack while playing sports. Sports injuries happen frequently, and sometimes the injuries could have been prevented or are the result of the negligence of someone else. If you or someone you know has suffered a sports-related injury, the San Francisco attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP are here to help. You can reach one of our California personal injury attorneys at 888.777.1776, or you can contact us online.