A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, even an infant. In order to save the life of the person concerned, you can perform CPR while waiting for the doctor. Also called chest compression, cardiac massage helps to revive and restore the victim’s breathing and blood circulation. Cardiac massage is a set of manual techniques accompanied by insufflations. To do this, pressure is applied to the heart with the hands through the chest. This article has been written to give you a practical guide to cardiac massage.
Checking your breathing
Before performing CPR, it is important to check whether or not the person has a cardiac arrest. Have the person checked on his or her back on a flat, hard surface. Tilt his head back, open his mouth and check his breathing by putting your cheek and ear over his mouth and nose. If you notice abnormal breathing or if there is no movement, noise or breathing, you are in the presence of a person who has had a cardiac arrest. Immediately call an emergency rescue service and quickly find a defibrillator.
Performing cardiac massage on a person over 8 years of age
After checking the victim’s breathing, you can now perform CPR. Note that the patient should always lie on his or her back on a flat surface and, if possible, should be undressed. Then stand on his or her side at chest height. Afterwards, place your left hand on the upper part of his sternum, i.e. well in the middle of his chest. Next, put the heel of your right hand on your left hand and interlace the fingers of your two hands. The palm of your hand should touch the middle of the victim’s chest. With arms outstretched and elbows locked, place your hands 5 to 6 cm apart and then let them rise, placing your hands in contact with the victim’s chest. Repeat the massage to perform a series of 30 compressions. After these 30 compressions, give 2 breaths by mouth-to-mouth. The rhythm should be 2 compressions per second, alternating heart massage and ventilation.
Performing CPR on a child under 8 years of age and an infant
To avoid too much pressure on the rib cage and to prevent rib fractures in infants and children under 8 years of age, the rhythm and chest compression are different. First, to perform CPR on an infant, compression of the sternum should be performed with the middle and index fingers only, and the repetition rate should be 100 compressions per minute. For a child under 8 years of age, cardiac massage should be done with one hand only and the rate to be adopted is 120 compressions per minute. It is important to know that there is an educational material called a first aid dummy to help learn CPR and save a life.