Please note that this information does not qualify you as an official first aider, and Virtual College advise calling 999 in the first instance at the scene of an emergency.
This material and any associated assessments do not constitute a qualification or accreditation as an official first aider. All content provided is for general information only.
Virtual College advocate dialling the emergency services before attempting any form of first aid.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR, is a potentially life-saving procedure designed to take over function of the heart and lungs in a casualty under cardiac arrest, a situation in which the heart is no longer pumping blood through the body. Through repeated compressions of the chest, along with rescue breaths, the aid giver is able to pump blood and oxygen throughout the body to preserve brain function. The following steps explain how to administer the procedure.
In the first instance, you must establish the casualty’s situation in order to determine if CPR is an appropriate course of action.
The primary survey is a recognised method of assessing an incident involving a casualty, and can help first responders to understand the relevant risks and key processes. Click hereto find out more about the course Virtual College can deliver on this subject.
Obstructions can sometimes be the cause of irregular or lack of breathing. As a result, it’s important to open the airway to be certain the patient is in cardiac arrest, and to facilitate the effectiveness of CPR.
If the casualty is still not breathing normally, then move immediately to the next step. If they are, then place them into the recovery position before seeking professional help.
Important: Do not spend more than a few seconds checking a person’s breathing or attempting to open their airway before calling 999.
If you have established that the casualty is not breathing normally, or is not breathing at all, then you or someone else nearby, must call 999 before initiating CPR. Operators are available to give you further advice on CPR steps, and other lifesaving aid. Depending on the situation, you may also request a defibrillator.
Chest compressions can be attempted by anyone, and when used on their own, are known as hands-only CPR. They are always the first step to take when administering CPR.
If you are not confident giving rescue breaths, then you should continue to give chest compressions until professional medical help arrives. If you are familiar with the procedure or have received CPR training, then rescue breaths should be given twice after each set of 30 chest compressions.
Browse through the Virtual College course offering on Health and Safety by clicking here, to see how we can help you or your employees learn skills that will help them manage workplace incidents and follow health and safety best practice, including how to do CPR.