CPR can be used in multiple life-threatening emergencies, such as sudden cardiac arrest, severe arrhythmias, multi-system allergic reactions, and drowning.
Moreover, CPR emergencies can also differ because of the victim’s age. As we all know, the CPR technique is performed differently on adults and children. On top of that, emergencies can differ because of their severity, so sometimes you may have to avoid giving CPR.
That’s why there are various CPR techniques for different types of emergencies. Knowing how to determine the situation and perform the right CPR technique is crucial in saving the person’s life.
Now, let’s elaborate on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and its application in various emergencies.
Various CPR Emergencies
Bystanders and medical workers use CPR to save lives in multiple emergencies. Some of the most common situations when you need to administer CPR or use an Automated External Defibrillator are sudden cardiac arrests, choking, drowning, allergic reactions, and more.
However, before performing CPR on the patient, you’ll have to assess the severity of the situation and if CPR is necessary. No matter the type of emergency, you’ll first have to check for breathing and pulse. If there’s no pulse for 10 seconds, you should perform CPR on the choking, drowning, or SCA victim.
Depending on the victim’s age, the emergency may require adult, child, or infant CPR. These techniques differ in the depth and manner of the chest compressions and the number and intensity of rescue breaths.
Following are some of the most frequent emergencies when we should perform CPR and how to do it properly.
CPR & Cardiac Arrest
CPR can significantly increase the survival chances of sudden cardiac arrest patients. In recent years, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic, medical workers noticed an increased number of cardiac arrest patients.
According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 350.000 out-of-hospital heart attacks annually in the United States. That’s why CPR is so important. It’s the most effective technique for restoring normal heart rhythm, blood, and oxygen flow after a heart attack.
Nonetheless, before administering chest compressions and rescue breaths, you must be sure that the person is unconscious and has no pulse. Moreover, experts suggest we perform hands-only CPR, which means fast, hard, and deep chest compressions until the first responders are able to take over.
The American Heart Association states that the hands-only CPR procedure can be equally effective as the regular one. Nevertheless, the rules stay the same: 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute with two rescue breaths on every 30 compressions.
CPR & Allergic Reactions
Multi-system allergic reactions can also result in respiratory failure or sudden cardiac arrest. Severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis can sometimes result in sudden cardiac arrest because the primary target of these reactions is the heart, especially the coronary arteries.
Studies have shown that 0.7 to 2% of anaphylaxis patients experience a sudden cardiac arrest after an allergic reaction. That’s why CPR knowledge is highly-important for increasing the survival rates of patients with severe allergic reactions.
However, the preparatory CPR for allergy victims can differ from the one you should perform on sudden cardiac arrest victims. For example, you should remove all the jewelry, tight clothing, and decorations that might make the swelling more painful.
Moreover, rescue breaths are mandatory during allergic reactions because the person usually loses consciousness because of breathing difficulties and respiratory failures. The chest-to-ventilation ratio stays the same, and all the other necessary steps before the emergency services arrive.
CPR & Choking
Another potentially life-threatening situation is choking. These emergencies are common among children and infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics conducted an 8-year-long study (between 2001 and 2009) on choking among children. The pediatrics concluded that patients younger than 1 experienced the most cases of choking, an incredible 37.8%.
This number is lower (13.5%) in children aged 4 to 9 and even lower (10%) in children aged 9 to 14. However, according to the New York Department of Health, in the US, one child dies from choking every five days.
The first-aid choking techniques differ from those for severe allergic reactions and sudden cardiac arrest. The first thing is to give five back blows and abdominal thrusts until the object is dislodged from the choking person’s airways. If you notice that the person loses consciousness, coughs, and changes color, you must proceed to CPR.
Nevertheless, you’ll have to perform a high-quality CPR procedure and know how to perform it on children and infants. Following is a step-by-step guide on the CPR technique for choking emergencies with children and infants:
- Tap the child’s shoulder or the bottom of the baby’s foot and shout to grab its attention
- If the child or infant doesn’t respond, check for a pulse
- If there’s no pulse for 10 seconds, proceed to give chest compressions
- Use the two thumbs or the one-hand chest compressions to perform 1.5 inches-deep compressions on a baby
- Use the two palms to give two inches-deep compressions to a child
- Allow the chest to return to its original position after each compression
- Give two short (1-second) rescue breaths
CPR & Burns
Sustaining severe burns is another emergency when you might need to perform CPR. People can get all kinds of burns, including thermal, electrical, or chemical. The most common ones are thermal and electrical burns because we constantly expose ourselves to electrical devices, heating systems, cooking, etc.
For example, high-voltage electric shocks can seriously disrupt the normal heart rhythm and result in life-threatening arrhythmias and cardiac arrests. Electric burns can cause arrhythmias like Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) which you may need to treat with an AED device and hands-only CPR technique.
On the other hand, thermal burns can also be severe and cause the loss of consciousness or disrupted heart rhythm. Experts found that adult patients can easily experience in-hospital cardiac arrest after sustaining severe burns.
In cases like this, you can use any of the mentioned CPR techniques for different types of emergencies. Depending on the patient’s age, you can perform adult, child, or infant CPR, while the burn type will tell you how to prepare and whether to use an AED.
CPR & Drowning
Drowning is another emergency when you need to use your CPR skills and apply different first aid techniques. Drowning is one of the emergencies which can also result in disrupted heart rhythm and respiratory difficulties. Drowning victims can suffer cardiac arrest due to oxygen deficit and disturbed blood flow.
The proper CPR technique for this emergency type is to start with chest compressions and deliver two rescue breaths after 30 compressions. The American Heart Association recommends avoiding hands-only CPR techniques in such situations. You can even give rescue breaths mouth-to-nose if you and the drowning person are still in the water.
CPR Certification: Learning CPR & AED Skills For Various Emergencies
You can learn the various CPR techniques for different types of emergencies in CPR certification courses. You can apply, register, and start learning both as an individual and an organization. Training centers across the United States offer AHA, and American Red Cross-certified CPR courses, encompassing multiple emergencies.
The CPR certification courses are divided based on the level of competence, skills, and the situations in which they are applicable. For example, you can enroll in the Pediatric First AID, BLS, and CPR courses. Here, you’ll learn all about the proper CPR techniques for infants and children, which is crucial in choking emergencies.
On the other hand, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and other advanced courses will teach you about almost all emergencies and how to react in such situations.
These credible and highly-professional training centers provide all CPR certification services, including renewal classes and custom-tailored certification courses for particular workplaces. For instance, if you’re a firefighter, the emergencies you encounter the most are burns and choking. That’s why a credible CPR certification center will teach you about the characteristics and symptoms and provide CPR and first aid to such victims.
There aren’t any huge differences between the various CPR techniques for different types of emergencies. The chest compression-to-ventilation ratio, the number of compressions per minute, and AHA’s guidelines are the same.
The main difference is in the preparation steps and ensuring that the victim gets the proper variation of the CPR procedure. Nonetheless, you can learn all these at the AHA and Red Cross-certified CPR courses and properly treat a choking, drowning, SCA, or burn victim.Read More