From Bystander To Lifesaver: How To Give CPR In An Emergency Situation


Imagine you’re enjoying a peaceful jog in the park when suddenly someone clutches their chest and collapses in front of you. At that moment, would you know what to do? 

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a crucial life-saving technique that makes all the difference between life and death. You can assist that person and keep the oxygen and blood flowing until medical professionals arrive.

Therefore, in this article, we’ll guide you through CPR steps and how to respond to an emergency and become a bystander to a lifesaver. Here’s what you need to know:

Calmly Assess The Situation

The first step to responding to an emergency is to stay calm and control your nerves. Once the initial shock of the emergency wears off, get your game mode on and assess the problem. 

Check for any potential hazards in the area the victim collapsed before proceeding to help them in need. There can be loose animals, dangerous wires, and other life-threatening elements that may have had a hand in hurting the victim. 

So, stay safe and remember that your presence of mind can significantly impact the outcome. 

Free Emergency Cardiac photo and picture

Check For Responsiveness

Approach the distressed person, gently shake their shoulder, and loudly ask if they’re all right. If they don’t respond after a few nudges, it might be because they’re unconscious. At this point, you should immediately dial 911 or emergency services. They’ll help you assess the situation and offer medical advice. 

You can ask someone in the vicinity to call emergency services. If you’re alone, call the emergency services and put them on speaker so you can help the victim and communicate with them simultaneously. Time is of the essence in this situation. 

Open Their Airway

Before attempting CPR, you should open the person’s airway to help with breathing. Gently tilt back their head to clear any obstructions in their throat. This simple step makes a significant difference in the chances of survival. 

Assess For Breathing

You must also check for signs of breathing before attempting CPR. Place your ear close to the person’s nose and mouth to listen for any signs of breathing. Moreover, look for any chest movements. If you can’t find any signs of breathing or occasional gasps, start CPR immediately. 

Free Cpr Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation photo and picture

Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation 

Position yourself next to the collapsed person and kneel. Place the heel of one of your hands on the center of their chest, between their nipples, and interlock your fingers with your other hand on top. Straighten your arms and use your upper body strength and weight to push down fast and hard on the chest. 

You should compress at least two inches and keep up the pace of 100 to 120 compressions in under a minute. Allow the chest to recoil and ensure each compression is smooth and continuous. 

Deliver Rescue Breaths 

Once you have completed 30 compressions, it is time to provide two rescue breaths. To ensure an unobstructed airway, gently tilt the person’s head back, preventing the tongue from causing any blockage. Pinch their nose to facilitate effective airflow and create a seal with your mouth over theirs. Inhale naturally and deliver the breath into their mouth, watching for visible chest rise. 

Repeat this procedure twice, ensuring proper chest movement between each breath. Remember, each rescue breath should be approximately one second in duration for optimal effectiveness. 

As soon as you’re done with the rescue breaths, continue compressions immediately until the person starts breathing on their own or the medical professionals arrive. 

Free Cpr Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation photo and picture

Continue CPR And Use AED

Continue giving CPR and rescue breaths to keep the cycle going and blood flowing. If an AED is available, you can use electric shocks to the heart to restore normal sinus rhythm. Follow the instructions on the AED machine and attach pads to the affected person’s chest. Allow the device to find and assess their heart’s rhythm. 

If the machine advises a shock, make sure everyone in the vicinity is clear of the person before you press the shock button. After the shock, immediately resume CPR.

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Life-saving techniques and guidelines get updated time-to-time. Therefore, it’s essential to stay on top of the skills on the latest recommendations from reputable organizations like American Heart Association or Red Cross. 

If you’re looking for an AHA ACLS certification course, look no further than CPR, ACLS & BLS Training Institute. They provide CPR and first aid training, CPR and AED training, basic life support, and pediatric life support certification

Reach out to them to learn more about their training and certifications. 

About The Author

Martha, L has been working as a CPR and basic and advanced life support training specialist in New York for ten years. She also writes for acclaimed websites and magazines to educate readers about life-saving techniques and procedures.