CPR vs Rescue Breathing: The Basic Difference

CPR vs Rescue Breathing - CPR Select

CPR and rescue breathing are techniques useful in saving lives of persons experiencing cardiac arrest and those with difficulties in breathing. These two are the basic first aid skills learnt during the CPR training. CPR and rescue breath perform complimentary but plays a different roles in the victim’s body.

What is CPR?

CPR refers to cardiovascular, pulmonary resuscitation and being taught to people while doing the CPR training and certification courses. CPR involves the creation of an artificial heartbeat to reinstate blood circulation to the vital body organs. It is applicable in cardiac arrest, when the victim’s heart stops beating. In such cases, the person is legally dead, but with the performance of CPR, the person can survive.

Cardiac arrest often referred to as heart attack, results from insufficiently supply of blood to the heart. The lack of oxygen causes the heart loses its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. At this stage, there is no heartbeat. The medical term for this condition is AMI (acute myocardial infarction). The lack of blood circulation and oxygen supply causes the brain to shut down and the individual falls unconscious.

The main objective of CPR is to restore the person’s blood circulating so that the oxygen can flow to the vital body organs, especially the brain. When the brain is cut short of oxygen supply, its cells start dying, which can lead to permanent brain damage or brain dead.

Cardiac arrest can result from a wide range of causes. For adults, it can occur due to hanging, respiratory disease, trauma and heart disease. For children and infants, the same can result from respiratory disease, trauma, congenital cardiac disease and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)

Following a cardiac arrest, a person’s brain can die in less than five minutes. However, with the performance of CPR, the person’s chance of survival is increased. The blood already in the human body is loaded with enough oxygen to keep the brain and other vital organs alive until the person’s heart is revived. The crucial heartbeat created through the performance of CPR is very crucial in keeping the blood/ oxygen circulating.

When the person is unresponsive, it is essential to start the CPR immediately. The earlier CPR is stared on the victim, the higher the chances of survival. You give CPR to persons who are not breathing at all or experiencing difficulties in breathing. It is important to note that some cardiac arrest victims will take in gasp of air frequently. For such persons, CPR should start immediately. Another sign of cardiac arrest is unresponsiveness and unconsciousness. A lot of time can be wasted on the victim trying to check if they have a pulse.

Skills and knowledge of CPR are easily attainable today, both online CPR classes and in-person CPR classes. For those who already skilled in CPR, always needed to refresh their skills through CPR re-certification. 

What is Rescue Breathing?

Rescue Breathing also known as mouth to mouth resuscitation. It is an artificial ventilation which aims at stimulating respiration. The victim, in this case, is not breathing or experiencing difficulties in breathing. The technique also termed as pulmonary ventilation done manually through mouth to mouth or by the use of mechanical devices. The procedure makes use of the air we breathe out to support another person. According to research, a healthy person is only able to use 20% of the oxygen they breathe in their bodies.

Rescue breathing is performed alongside cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to restore a person’s internal respiration. Other terms used in place of rescue breathing include kiss of life, EAV (expired air ventilation) and EAR (expired air resuscitation).

There are some emergency instances which solely apply rescue breathing. Among these instances are opiate overdoses and near-drowning.

The procedure can take different forms;

  • During the mouth to mouth resuscitation the air is passed from the rescuer to the victim body through their mouths.
  • During the Mouth to the nose resuscitation the air is passed from the rescuer’s mouth to the victim’s body through the nose. It happens in cases where the victim has sustained injuries or is unable to receive air through their mouth.
  • Mouth to mouth and nose resuscitation is mostly applicable in infants and babies of up to one year.
  • These days mouth to mask resuscitation has been on the rise due to the risk involved in the spread of infectious diseases. Most professionals advise for the use of the technique in performing rescue breathing.
 Also Read- CPR vs AED- The Basic Difference.  

The Procedure of Performing CPR and Rescue Breathing:

Generally, CPR involves chest compressions; it slightly differs in children and adults.

  1. The person assisting the victim should take caution not to compromise on their health and safety. Ensure that both you and the victim are in a safe environment. The person should scan the environment for any objects or conditions that could have caused the cardiac arrest. If needed, try to move the person as gently as possible.
  1. The second step while performing the CPR is to check if the victim is responsive/ unconscious. It can be done by gently shaking the person’s shoulder and asking them if he/she is okay. You must also call for help or ask someone else to dial 191as you stay focused on the victim.
  1. With the person lying flat on their back and tilt their head slightly upwards by placing your hand on their forehead. Open their mouth. It is essential to remove any foreign objects in their mouth or airway. However, if you experience difficulties doing so, start on the chest compressions.
  1. Assess for breathing by looking, listening and feeling for signs. For a person with normal breathing, roll them to their side as you wait for professional help to arrive.
  1. If the person does not show any signs of breathing, kneel beside the victim’s shoulders. Place the heel of your hand right in between the person’s nipples. Place the other hand on top of the first and firmly interlock your fingers. Keep your arms straight and shoulders directly above. Push forward on the person’s chest to a depth of 6cm or 2.4 inches for adults. For children and infants, the compressions should be 1.5 inches to 2 inches being cautions not to exceed 2.4 inches.
  1. After every 30 chest compressions, give the victim two rescues breathe. Slightly open up the victim’s mouth, with their head slightly tilted upwards. Pinch on the person’s nose and cover their mouth with your own and blow in. Ensure that as you give the rescue breath, you see the victim’s shoulder rise and fall. If the person still remains unresponsive, go on to provide the second rescue breath. Target at giving 100 to 120 compressions and eight rescue breathes per minute. If you are not comfortable providing the person mouth to mouth, keep performing 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute until help arrives.
  1. You can stop performing CPR when the victim starts breathing. However, if the breathing stops, be on the watch out to restart the process. However, it is essential to keep performing the chest compressions to unresponsive persons until the professional medical team takes over.

CPR on its own has low chances or restarting the heart without the use of AED. The person performing CPR should keep the chest compressions going until they are fully exhausted and can get someone else to continue. It is essential in saving a person’s life to keep his brain and other organs alive. For a person to perform CPR and rescue breathes effectively, they need to enroll for a proper CPR class.

Why Go for Online CPR Classes?

These days, online CPR/AED training and certification courses offers people an opportunity to learn all about CPR and give you the necessary confidence to rescue victims of cardiac arrest. Moreover, if someone have an outdated CPR certification, they can quickly refresh their skills and knowledge by registering to online CPR re-certification. The courses are designed by experienced, trained physicians and includes New 2019 ECC Guidelines & National Emergency Response Organization Standard.Through online CPR certification, an individual also acquires expertise in the use of the AED.

 Enroll Now for Online CPR/AED Training & Certification Classes at just $19.95.