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Three Situations where Knowing CPR Helps

  • Written by Guest Column by Steve Crain, CPR Northwest Washington
Most of the time people think of CPR with regard to a heart attack or cardiac arrest, which is good because when a person is in cardiac arrest, CPR is needed.  But providing high quality CPR is also very helpful in other circumstances not normally associated with providing CPR.   Allergic reaction, drowning or choking can also require CPR to help save a life.
 
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Allergic reaction:
 
Severe Allergic Reaction can be caused by bee stings, spider bites, peanuts, shellfish or even some odors to name just a few. 
If they have an EpiPen Auto-injector, have them inject Epinephrine immediately.  If the person can’t inject themselves then you will need to it for them.  After using the EpiPen, the injection area needs to  be rubbed or massaged for 10 seconds.  If the adult or child does not get better almost immediately, then call 911.  If the person has stopped breathing, start CPR immediately.
 
Drowning:
 
If a person is a victim of near-drowning it is likely that they are unresponsive or not breathing, in this situation have someone call 911 and start CPR immediately.  Near-drowning happens when a person is unable to breathe and provide Oxygen to the brain and other body tissues due to extended submersion in water. When this happens the body’s systems will shut down due to the lack of oxygen.  Even if a near-drowning victim has been submerged for a long period, CPR may still be effective so begin CPR immediately. 
 
Choking:
 
Knowing how to perform high quality CPR may also be needed in choking situations.  When food or another object gets stuck in a person’s throat, choking can lead to unresponsiveness and ultimately death if Oxygen is not provided to the brain.  If the person is an adult or child and they give you permission to help, you should begin abdominal thrusts or otherwise known as the Heimlich maneuver.  To do this wrap your arms around the person’s waist under the ribcage as you stand behind them then place your fists above the person’s navel in the middle of the belly and press forcefully into the abdomen and up toward the person’s chest .  If the obstruction clears the airway the person will be able to breath and talk so you can stop performing thrusts. But if the person becomes unresponsive, begin CPR immediately.
In all three of these situations, allergic reaction, drowning or choking, the basic problem is a lack of Oxygen in the brain.  So, in all three situations, knowing how to provide high quality CPR is critical to greatly improve chances of survival. 
 
CPR Northwest Washington provides CPR training and certification both on-site and at our training center 7 days a week at a variety of times, so you can be prepared to help in these situations. 

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