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.
Dr. Sam Parnia, M.D. has a very unique medical specialty- resurrection. Dr. Parnia has made recent claims that he can bring patients, who have died hours before, back to life. How is this possible? Can he really bring back the “clinically dead?” What ethical and religious issues does this pose and, more importantly, would you want him to?
Parnia’s book, “The Lazarus Effect,” posits that, should someone die of reversible causes, such as a heart attack or infection, that medical interventions can be performed, post mortem, that will reverse the condition and affectively bring that person back to life. In writing this book, Parnia hoped to expand the medical community’s understanding of death and essentially convince other doctors that his methods can save the lives of up to 40,000 Americans a year without a high cost. The procedures that Parnia posits are not acceptable practices in the medical community, but Parnia is trying to change that with his new book.
Dr. Sam Parnia works at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York as the head of intensive care and was originally trained in the United Kingdom. Recently, he began to question the age-old question: what happens when the body dies? What happens to the soul, the memories…the character of that person? Through his research, he has extrapolated that, in some cases where the cause of death can be reversed, the individual can be resurrected by properly managing their death, allowing them to expire, reversing the condition that resulted in their death and then resuscitating them before brain death occurs.
The big question is how? Parnia speculates that this process is possible by properly and quickly cooling the patient’s body and monitoring oxygen levels in the brain to preserve brain cells and avoid brain damage. He theorizes that the traditional Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) that is typically done when the heart stops, is only done for a short period of time, after which point doctors stop, assuming brain death. However, Parnia asserts that by advancing care and using a process called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, or ECMO, by which the blood is removed from the body, re-oxygenated and reinserted into the body, doctors can maintain oxygenation in the blood and therefore “buy time” to correct the problem and then restart the heart. In this manner patients can be “clinically dead” for hours, cured and brought back to life so long as the level of oxygen in the brain stays above 45%
When it comes to ethics, Parnia states that he has no religious quandaries about what he is theorizing. He states that he has no religious quandaries about his theories because no one truly knows what happens when we die. He believes that the science of resurrection will allow us to get closer to the answer to the question “What happens when we die?” And more importantly, “Can we bring someone back from the dead?” In addition, this theory begs the question of how we as human beings view mortality, especially considering Parnia is speculating that the human body is getting closer to being “immortal.”
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