CPR is short for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. It is a technique used to save a person’s life that has a sudden cardiac arrest. During this procedure, a person initiates a series of steps in order to help the victim’s blood continue circulating and maintain oxygen levels in the victim’s body. The steps include breathing (“rescue breaths”) into the victim’s lungs and compressing the victim’s chest. Let’s break this down even further to better understand CPR.
The word “cardio” basically means the heart. Our heart is one of the most important organs in our bodies. The heart is a very strong muscle, found in the chest, which expands and contracts more than 60 times every minute and pumps blood, which is rich in oxygen, from the lungs to the rest of the organs in the body. If the heart stops pumping that all-important oxygenated blood to the rest of the body, tissue begins to die because the body’s vital organs are being deprived of the oxygen it needs to survive. This can lead to organ malfunction, brain damage or, in the worst case, death.
The word “pulmonary” essentially means the lungs. The lungs are as important as the heart because when you take a breath (which you do up to 25 times a minute!), you fill your lungs with much needed oxygen and that oxygen combines with sugar to fuel your body and its vital organs. Since the tissues in our body do not store much oxygen, it is essential that they remain constantly oxygenated.
The “R” in CPR is the most important letter and it means “resuscitation.” It basically means bringing someone who is apparently “dead,” back to life. It sounds more like a sci-fi movie than it really is. The human body only has a short supply of oxygen once the heart stops and the lungs are no longer receiving adequate oxygen. Once it runs out of oxygen, cell and tissue damage ensue, which can lead to brain damage and even death. When resuscitating a victim, it is important to remember that without oxygen, cell and tissue death begins between four and six minutes after being deprived of oxygen.
But, when would you possibly need to perform this life-saving technique?
A situation in which oxygen may be prevented from reaching the lungs includes:
- Heart attack
- Electric shock
- Ventricular fibrillation (in which the heart’s rhythm goes awry)
Today, CPR learning is important for everyone including the non-healthcare professionals like teachers, coaches, personal trainers, daycare workers, babysitters, construction workers, etc. By knowing how to provide CPR, one can literally save a life! And, since over 80% of people will experience sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting, by providing CPR you can possibly restore up to 40% of the normal circulation that has stopped, giving your loved one, or a perfect stranger, a greater chance at survival.
Online CPR certification and re-certification is available through CPR Select’s convenient, flexible live classes. Go to http://www.mycprcertificationonline.com/ and sign up today so that you, too, can learn to save life of victim during the crucial time.
There are little things in life that really restore your faith in humanity – and CPR. A little help from someone at the right time can save a life. If you don’t believe it, you’re in for a surprise! What we’re about to tell you is a story that won’t only motivate you to learn CPR but realize the importance of lending a helpful hand when you can.
This is the story of Joyce Gregory, 60, who was driving a metro bus one day when she felt her heart rate become abnormal. She did the first thing a human’s instinct told her to do. She cried for help. The bus driver, Debby Kerr, had just stepped off the bus for a few moments when she heard the cries of “I need help. My heart. My heart,” issuing from inside the bus. She rushed inside to find a regular rider, a mentally challenged man, supporting a semi-unconscious Joyce and preventing her from falling into the aisle.
Debby Kerr didn’t freeze on the spot or lose her senses. She remained calm and urgently contacted her dispatcher and informed them of the situation. The dispatcher was told to get medical aid immediately. But looking at Joyce, Kerr knew that time was running out. “Her eyes were already rolling back and her head was dropping. I knew this lady was in trouble right then and there,” Kerr recalls. She remembered that Coach Operator Donna Wright would be arriving shortly on her bus route and she dispatched an oncoming passenger to summon Wright.
Upon the arrival of Donne Wright, both her and Debby Kerr tried to revive Joyce. Kerr had not had a CPR class in 25 years and she had never practiced CPR on a real person, let alone in a pressure situation. Wright had received CPR certification four years earlier and it was her first time with a hands-on experience as well.
“I remember thinking, ‘Jesus, if you’re ever going to answer a prayer, I need your help right now,’” Kerr was praying. Both bus drivers continued their efforts of reviving Joyce but to no avail. Joyce seemed unresponsive. Soon emergency personnel arrived and took over the reviving efforts. They transported Gregory to Bronson Methodist Hospital.
“I just kept thinking, ‘My God, I’m the last one she looked at and spoke to,’” Kerr recalled. “I’m an emotional person and we were under the impression she didn’t make it. I went through the whole weekend praying.”
Obviously, the whole incident had both the bus drivers emotionally attached to Joyce’s outcome and they were eager to hear good news, though their hopes weren’t very high. “It was really disheartening to think that she had passed away that close to the holidays,” Wright added.
The following Monday, Metro Transit attempted to find out the woman’s name, and know where the agency could direct its condolences. Transit director Bill Schomisch found out that she was very much alive, in the hospital, scheduled for surgery. Kerr and Wright were very relieved at the news and shared the credit for helping give emergency aid to a rider in need.
The Oshtemo first-responders on the scene also took the time to make sure the two drivers had not been shaken or traumatised by the experience. But both Kerr and Wright admitted that they were happy to have served someone and been of some help. “The good Lord was looking after all of us; He had His hand right there,” said Wright. Kerr added, “Something good came the end of that day. We weren’t alone in that bus. I feel very blessed.”
Joyce Gregory, who loves poetry, singing and making people laugh, is recovering from triple-bypass surgery, according to her sister Michelle Gipson. They are among 14 siblings. The family plans to have Kerr and Wright to dinner and some hot-tub time. What’s more? All three of them: Gipson, Wright and Kerr are planning to continue their CPR classes because you never know – a stitch in time saves nine!