CPR is a Skill That Everybody Should Have - You Don't Have to Be Qualified to Use It!
ANY ATTEMPT AT RESUSCITATION IS BETTER THAN NONE
The Australian Resuscitation Council says that any attempt at resuscitation is better than none - which means that you do not have to be "qualified" or "certified" to use CPR to try to save someone's life. Whilst this MAY be true, and we do agree with this approach, we also advocate for people learning how to perform GOOD QUALITY CPR. Good quality CPR can be the difference between someone surviving a cardiac arrest, and someone surviving with all their faculties about them, and minimal or no organ damage.
Because the blood flow to the organs is stopped during a cardiac arrest, it means that the possibility of brain damage is high. By performing GOOD QUALITY CPR during a cardiac arrest, you are not only potentially saving a person's life, but you are also increasing the chances of that person surviving with better overall physical and mental outcomes.
We advocate learning CPR from a qualified training organisation so that you are prepared to respond appropriately in the event of someone being in cardiac arrest .
When is CPR required to be used on someone?
CPR should only be performed on someone when they are:
Do I have to have formal training or be qualified to try to save someone's life with CPR?
No. Any attempt at resuscitation is better than none.
But, what if I injure them? Can what I do make the person worse off?
No. When someone is not responding and not breathing normally, or at all, it doesn't get any worse for that person. Death will occur for them within a matter of minutes if CPR is not started, and an AED not sourced and brought to the scene and used.
But, won't I break their ribs?
Possibly. It is a fact that performing CPR on someone is likely to break their ribs. However, a broken rib, or ribs, will mend. It is not possible to revive someone who has not had CPR performed on them after a period of minutes of delay, so fear of "hurting" them should not stop you from trying to save their life - they WILL thank you later!
So, how do I do CPR?
After calling for Emergency Medical Services;
Do I have to do breaths?
No. If you are not comfortable providing breaths to a stranger, then you do not have to do breaths There is a lot of evidence to suggest that breaths are not as essential as the flow of blood around the body to the brain is. There are many organisations who advocate for "hands only CPR". The issue of breaths has been a barrier to many people providing CPR over the years, and many people have died as a resuly of responders not wanting to perform CPR on them because of the perception of the requirement to do breaths.
What does CPR do? Why am I doing this?
CPR works by manually pumping the patient's heart for them, pushing blood around the body to keep the brain and vital organs alive. By performing CPR, you circulate the blood so it can provide oxygen to the body, and the brain and other organs stay alive while you wait for the ambulance. Without good quality CPR being performed, and the brain being perfused while you are waiting for EMS teams to arrive, the brain will die within 3-4 minutes.
Will I be able to save someone's life with CPR alone?
CPR alone is very unlikely to restart the victim’s heart. Therefore, CPR alone is unlikely to revive a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. These victims require urgent defibrillation.