CPR Class: FSA Eligibility
What is CPR?
CPR, which is shorthand for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is one of the cornerstones of first aid treatment that is useful in a variety of emergencies whenever an individual is not breathing or his/her heart has stopped beating. This state is referred to as cardiac arrest in which the heart goes from its normal beat to an arrhythmic pattern called ventricular fibrillation, which if left unchecked will cause the heart to stop beating altogether (American Heart Association).
If this state is allowed to continued unabated, oxygen will be prevented from traveling throughout the body, which will cause rapid cell and tissue death. Even if CPR is performed correctly, there is still a chance that the heart may not be able to break from its arrhythmic cycle, but if CPR is performed within 4-5 minutes of an individual going into cardiac arrest, their chances of survival are nearly doubled when compared to no treatment.
How is CPR performed?
Individuals who take CPR classes will learn the cycle of chest compressions and direct breathing into the patient's airways that has the potential to help the heart restore its regular rhythm and allow the patient to recover. A CPR class will instruct students to perform CPR in 3 simple steps via American National Red Cross:
- Call Emergency Services: CPR is a procedure that is designed to provide assistance to an unresponsive individual until emergency services arrive. First aid instructors will advise students to contact 911 immediately if a person becomes unresponsive, and then return to the victim and provide care. In most cases, emergency operators can provide additional instructions to administer care.
- Begin Chest Compressions: The first step in applying CPR is to begin chest compressions on the victim's chest by pushing down hard in the center of the chest. These compressions should aim to replicate the individual's heart rate, more than once per second at least 25-30 times before switching to breath.
- Breathing into Airways: After completing a series of chest compressions, the individual performing CPR should tilt the victim's head back and lift the chin to open the victim's airway. Next, blow two large breaths into the victim's mouth, while cupping the mouth with one's hand to form a tight seal. The victim's chest should rise with the infusion of air, at which point the person performing CPR should switch back to chest compressions and continue this process until the victim is revived or emergency help arrives.