We’ve all heard about CPR, but not many of us possess the necessary skills and knowledge to perform it. Even though it’s a concept dating back to 1740, CPR is often incorrectly performed and, in some cases, not performed at all.
Often, you’d hear a person say they know how to perform CPR, as they’ve seen it in a movie. However, movies tend to portray CPR as a dramatic process that brings a person back to life with just a few chest compressions and rescue breaths.
Common myths about CPR can lead individuals to think they’re prepared for real-life emergency situations. Sadly, it’s more likely to result in unnecessary deaths.
Here we’ll concentrate on the most common misconceptions surrounding CPR, so you won’t have to rely on falsehoods anymore.
The Importance of CPR in Saving Lives
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a vital life-saving procedure that can give a person a second chance at life. Every year, over 400,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest, and this is exactly why we should start taking CPR more seriously.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly, and it can lead to brain damage or death if not immediately and properly treated. Performing CPR in those kinds of situations is crucial because chest compressions help maintain blood flow to the brain.
Rapid defibrillation, advanced life support, and post-cardiac arrest care also play a huge role in the survival rate. However, sudden cardiac arrest can lead to sudden death. Considering that most cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital setting, CPR is the quickest and most appropriate action to take. In fact, the survival rates of a person who’s received CPR can be doubled or tripled.
Anyone can find themselves in a situation where a person collapses in front of them, and that’s why every individual should possess the skills to perform CPR. Based on your experience and needs, there are different types of CPR, which include bystander CPR, layperson CPR, health care provider CPR, and expert CPR.
To sum it up, CPR can save lives, and that’s why it’s an essential skill for the general public. Starting today, enroll in a CPR course that fits your needs and learn how to cope with emergency situations.
Why It’s Crucial to Dispel Common Myths About CPR
We’ll never know exactly how urban legends about CPR have spread, but there are several factors that might have contributed.
- Media Representation. You’re probably not even surprised to hear this. Many times the media has spread misinformation regarding a particular subject. This doesn’t only refer to news reports, but movies and TV shows, as well as social media, can be the cause of falsehoods.
- Lack of Education. The general public often overlooks the concept of CPR, which is why individuals aren’t fully familiar with the process and can spread false rumors. Always take the time to educate yourself, especially on serious topics like CPR.
- Language Barrier. If you don’t speak the same language as emergency providers or medical professionals, there’s a risk you won’t fully understand the instructions given.
It’s crucial for you to dispel misconceptions about CPR, mostly because they can lead to hesitation or incorrect actions during an emergency situation, which could result in a loss of life. You might feel confident now, but you can never know how you’re going to respond in a situation where a person fights for their life in front of you.
Educating yourself and keeping up to date with the latest techniques can increase your confidence in performing CPR and increase the chances of a positive outcome. By dispelling common myths surrounding CPR, you’ll be better equipped to respond effectively and potentially save lives.
Common Misconceptions About CPR
While CPR is highly effective, misunderstandings due to common myths may arise, which might lead to harmful situations. In order to prevent such happenings, we’ll discuss the most common myths surrounding CPR and the truth behind them, so you can learn to avoid any inaccuracies.
CPR is Only for Adults
Even though cardiac arrests are more prevalent in adults than in children, studies show that they’ve also occurred in around 3,628 individuals younger than 18 years. That said, CPR can be performed on adults, children, and infants. However, CPR training for children and infants differs from those for adults, as their bodies and needs differ.
CPR techniques can be performed on infants, children, and adults of any age and can be modified depending on who they’re performed on.
Mouth-To-Mouth Resuscitation is Always Necessary
Contrary to popular belief, mouth-to-mouth isn’t always necessary when performing CPR. This is important to note because many individuals tend to hesitate about the mouth-to-mouth procedure, as they believe it can transmit diseases.
For those who are unwilling to do it, a procedure called rescue breathing without mouth-to-mouth is also an option when the patient isn’t breathing normally. In some cases, even compression-only CPR should do the job.
CPR Can Restart a Stopped Heart
While the chances of survival with CPR can be doubled or tripled, CPR is meant to help circulate blood and not restart a heart that completely stops beating.
We’ve all seen such exaggerations on TV, especially in medical drama movies, but things are rather different in real life. If a person’s heart stops beating, performing CPR is a must until you’re waiting for medical assistance to arrive.
CPR Can’t be Performed Without an AED
While Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a helpful tool in a CPR procedure, CPR can be performed without it. The purpose of an AED is to deliver an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm. However, if the patient has a non-shockable heart rhythm, an AED won’t be useful.
As long as you’re conducting chest compression and rescue breathing at the correct rate and depth, you’re doing more than enough. The AED can help save someone’s life, but it’s not crucial for a CPR procedure.
Learn Chest Compressions and CPR through Online Videos
CPR skills can be easily mastered because the steps are fairly simple. However, this doesn’t mean that you can learn it simply by watching a video. There is a reason that getting certified requires hands-on skill training.
Learning CPR from a video won’t give you all the information. Consult a certified instructor to address any concerns you may have and learn the right way to perform chest compression. Online videos will not give you all the answers you need.
CPR is Always Successful
Not to be confused, a person who’s in cardiac arrest definitely has a higher chance of survival if CPR is performed. However, this doesn’t mean it’s successful in all cases, as the cause and duration of the cardiac arrest, as well as the age and the overall health of the person, also play a huge role.
According to the American Heart Association, the survival rate for cardiac arrests outside of a hospital setting is approximately 10%.
Bystanders Can Get Sued for Performing CPR
Over 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests have received bystander CPR. Performing CPR in good faith can never result in a lawsuit filed against you. Instead, you might get into trouble if you leave someone unattended in an emergency situation such as cardiac arrest.
Extensive Medical Training is Necessary for Performing CPR
CPR doesn’t require extensive medical training, nor is it only meant for health care providers. CPR can be a challenging task, but everyone is allowed and capable of learning how to perform it. Some CPR training courses can even be completed in a few hours.
You can learn CPR for personal needs, or in case you need it for work, you’ll probably have to enroll in a course that offers certification upon completion.
Separating CPR Facts from Folklore and Urban Legends
False beliefs are very common among people, but nothing good comes out of them normally, especially in scenarios when a person’s life is at stake. CPR is surrounded by many misconceptions, and due to a lack of knowledge, many people might get the idea they’re true.
To sum it up, CPR is a life-saving technique that can be performed by, and on both adults and children, without the need for extensive medical training. To make sure you’re not relying on inaccuracies, check with reliable sources of information about CPR, such as the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross.