4. Emergency Techniques
Every person (both child and adult) should be taught the two emergency techniques described below. In the local news was an item about a four-year-old boy who saved the life of his two-year-old brother because he knew how to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR. It’s never too early (or late) to learn about emergency life-saving techniques.
4.1 How to Give CPR
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CPR is the only way to save the life of someone whose heart has stopped. To learn it properly, you should take a CPR course. The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross offer excellent CPR courses.
If you’ve determined that a person has no heartbeat, you must begin CPR. Here’s how:
- Kneel at the person’s side.
- Find the bottom of the breastbone—the bone in the middle of the chest.
- About two inches above that, place the heel of your hand.
- Place the other hand over the first hand and lock the fingers.
- With arms kept straight, push down on the chest, so that it’s compressed about 1-1/2 or 2 inches. You must push fairly hard.
- As you push, count out loud: “One, and two, and three, and four, and …” Keep going a little faster than one push per second until you get to fifteen.
- After 15 pushes, move quickly back to the person’s head, and blow two quick breaths into his mouth.
- Then go right back to his chest, find the spot two inches above the bottom of the breastbone again, place your hands, and push 15 times again.
- Keep on with 15 pushes, then two breaths, and so on, until one of these things happens:
- You are relieved by someone who can do CPR, or
- The person’s heart starts beating (check his pulse every minute or so). You may still have to continue mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Or,
- A physician pronounces the person dead.
4.2 How to Give Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation
When someone stops breathing, no matter whether it happened because of drowning, electrical shock, heart attack, or anything else, you can breathe for him by giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Here’s how:
- Place victim on his back.
- Check inside of mouth for material that could block the air passage. Clean out if necessary.
- Kneeling at the side of his head, place one hand on the forehead and the other under his neck. Tilt the head back (unless you suspect a neck injury) so the jaw is pointed up. This keeps the airway open.
- With the hand that’s on the forehead, pinch the nostrils shut.
- Blow four quick breaths into the victim’s mouth, hard enough to fill lungs. If chest doesn’t rise, clear the airway by cleaning out mouth, or roll victim on his side and slap between shoulder blades to dislodge material. Then roll him back and try breathing again.
- After the four initial breaths, remove your mouth and watch for chest to fall.
- Continue by blowing one breath into victim’s mouth every five seconds until he starts breathing again on his own. (For small children, blow into mouth and nose, one breath every three seconds.)