CPR charts are designed as a quick reference to assist the rescuer to provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for a casualty who has no signs of life - is unconscious, not breathing and not moving. It is a way of graphically explaining someone the procedure of CPR. It is used by people who have not attended CPR classes as well as by people who have and need to revise their skills.
The general CPR chart goes like this:
- Identification: The first step of CPR is to try to arouse the victim if found unconscious. The person simply might have fainted or maybe a asleep. Shake the person and call them out loudly. If there is no response, only then do we proceed to theCPR procedure.
- Function: Check for his/her breathing. We do this by leaning close on the victim's mouth and nose and listening for their breathing sounds. If breathing is felt, there is no need of rescue breathing.
- Time frame: A call for medical help should be made before beginning CPR procedures. It is important to get medical assistance as quickly as possible because CPR is a tiring procedure and it cannot be done for a long time. The paramedics should be on their way while CPR is being given, this improves the victim's chances of survival. Even though the person is breathing, the victim could have other medical problems that need immediate attention.
- Features : The head has to be rightly positioned before the rescue breathing. This is done by tilting the head by lifting the chin. Pinch the nose and give the person two quick breaths. For each breath make sure that the chest is rising and falling, this signifies that the airway is clear and the air is reaching the lungs. If not then reposition the head and try again. If the chest still does not inflate due to the air, clear the airway before going ahead. This is done with the Heimlich maneuver, once the airway is cleared, repeat the two rescue breaths and continue with the CPR.
- Potential : Check for pulse and breathing. After the two breaths, check for the breathing as you did before. Also place two fingers on the pulse point on the side of the neck below the ear and just above the collar bone. If the victim is breathing then it means that the heart is beating as well. Monitor the patients until the paramedics arrive. If there is a pulse, but no breathing then continue the rescue breathing until the victim begins to breathe or till the paramedics arrive to take over. If there is no pulse and no breathing continue CPR until help arrives.
- Considerations: Measure the width of two fingers above the bottom of the breastbone. Place the palm of your hand against the breastbone so the side of the hand is above the fingers. Cover the first hand with you other hand and interlace your fingers. With your elbows locked, give 15 chest compressions. The downward force should be enough to depress the breastbone approximately 2 inches.
Give two more breaths as described before. The process id breaths and chest compressions should be repeated until help arrives or until the victim starts breathing on his own.
Advantages of CPR chart
- Does not require the presence of a victim to know the CPR procedure.
- A large amount of data can be gathered in a relatively short amount of time.
Disadvantages of CPR chart
- Cannot identify problems in clinical techniques that are not explained on the chart.