When understanding the critical skills needed during Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), it is important to ensure you are utilizing information from established and accredited sources. By completing MyCPR Now online training and having a strong foundation, you will have a comprehensive skill set in the areas of compressions, ventilations, and use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The skills needed vary from each of those steps and should be practiced until a mastery level of skill is obtained.
Compressions need to be done hard and fast by utilizing the straight arm method, meaning no bending at the elbows. This method allows the compressor to forcefully press their weight into the chest of the victim to ensure the 2-inch depth is reached for adult victims. Recall that the compression rate is 100-120 compressions per minute, which is essentially 2 compressions per second. The compressor must push hard and fast to achieve that compression rate along with being aware of when fatigue is present in themselves and others when compressions are being performed.
Ventilations present another challenging skill set to obtain when you consider the rate and the technique required to effectively perform artificial breathing. For starters, the E-C Clamp technique is the best technique available to achieve a seal with the mask around the victim’s mouth and nose. The thumb and index finger should be placed on top of the mask to form a C shape, while the remaining 3 fingers grasp around the jaw line to form the E shape. Then the rescuer needs to clamp the E towards the C and vise versa to ensure that a seal is complete. Note that as a rescuer, pay close attention to whether or not air is escaping from around the mask. If no air is escaping it is safe to assume that the seal is completed, however if air is escaping then you are guaranteed that the seal is incomplete. The second area to address is the squeezing of the Bag Valve Mask (BVM). The chamber of air that is squeezed normally holds 800 to 1200 cc of air, while the lungs can only fill to an estimated 500 cc of air. This means that as ventilations are being performed, there is no need to discharge the entire amount of air from the chamber into the lungs. If this is done, be prepared for the victim to vomit, since the remaining air is going to be forced into the stomach.
Finally, the AED skills most pertinent are listening and following the prompts and placement of the patches. Listening to the prompts takes focus and patience in a chaotic situation, so ensure you have prepared yourself for it. The patches have images on them, so ensure that you are following the images and placing them as the images direct you.
A cardiac emergency can happen to any person without notice, so be prepared! Study and test today!