28 Jul What is CPR?
CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Whoa…Let’s break it down:
Cardio means, “of the heart”
Pulmonary means, “of the lungs”
Resuscitation means, “to retrieve” – or to bring back to life
And that’s exactly what CPR is. You manually do compressions (meaning, hard presses with your hands) on a person’s chest to move blood out of the heart and into vital organs. The blood carries oxygen to the lungs to deliver oxygen to the vital organs. And you hope to retrieve the person to get their heart pumping and breathing on their own.
CPR used to involve mouth-to-mouth, which actually prevented some people from getting involved in saving a life. People were afraid they might get really sick if they put their mouth on a stranger’s mouth so they didn’t and then the stranger had less of a chance of surviving.
Mouth-to-mouth is no longer necessary!
Yes, it’s true. Now, you can do hands-only CPR (see Paula’s story to learn more).
However (isn’t there always a catch?), mouth-to-mouth is sometimes used on children who stop breathing or adults who have suffered a loss of oxygen. In this case, they need that lost oxygen to be restored and mouth-to-mouth does this.
But hear this (well, we suppose you are reading this, so, read this!), you do not HAVE to do mouth-to-mouth to save the life of a person whose heart has stopped. So, if you are feeling squeamish, don’t freak, just do the chest compressions… hard!
When would you and when would you NOT feel comfortable doing mouth-to-mouth?