…the man suddenly slumped, the ladies around shrieked and screamed, the party came to a sudden halt, people milling around wondering what could have happened, speculation filled the air. It took a while before someone could organise a car and they lifted him in speeding off to the nearest ER, where he was confirmed dead on arrival!
Could anything have been done to save that life, and indeed many others? YES!
CPR is an emergency procedure (a form of first aid), performed in an effort to manually preserve brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest (a sudden cessation of heart activity).

2013-05-28-11-20-54-64560572The heart is a muscular organ located in the chest, encased within a bony ring formed by the vertebral column (spine) behind, the ribs at the sides and the sternum in front. The heart’s normal pumping action is a continuous, uninterrupted series of contraction and relaxation phases. heartsystolediastoleDuring contraction (systole), blood is pumped out of the heart into the blood vessels while during relaxation (diastole) blood returns to the heart through passive refilling. It is this rhythmic sequence that CPR attempts to mimic and thus maintain tissue perfusion during a cardiac arrest. By compressing the heart muscle between the sternum and the spinal column, blood is forced out into the vessels while releasing this compression allows the heart to refill.

CPR must be performed with patient lying flat on a firm/rigid surface in order to ensure that the compressive force is transmitted onto the heart directly rather than simply dissipated as woul occur when CPR is attempted on a soft bed or cushions. So if a cardiac arrest occurs while a patient is sitting in a cushioned chair or in a bed, the patient should be rolled over onto the floor or a hard board slipped under the patient in the bed.

CPR alone is unlikely to restart the heart; its main purpose is to restore partial flow of blood to the brain and heart. The objective is to delay tissue death and to extend the brief window of opportunity for a successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage.

2013-05-28-10-18-31--1369634358CPR guidelines have been repeatedly modified/revised over the years to ensure best outcome for the majority of patients. The current protocol seeks to reduce precious time wasted in checking for peripheral pulses and places more emphasis on effective chest compressions.

CPR is generally continued until the subject regains spontaneous circulation or is confirmed dead. CPRCPR involves chest compressions at least 5 cm deep and at a rate of at least 100 per minute in an effort to create artificial circulation by manually pumping blood through the heart. In addition, the rescuer may provide breaths by either exhaling into the subject’s mouth or nose or utilizing a device that pushes air into the subject’s lungs. This process of externally providing ventilation is termed artificial respiration.

CPR01Current recommendations place emphasis on high-quality chest compressions over artificial respiration. Compression-only (hands-only or cardio-cerebral resuscitation) CPR is a technique that involves chest compressions without artificial respiration. It is recommended for the untrained rescuer who may not be inclined to provide mouth-to-mouth ventilation in the absence of appropriate adjunct devices for ventilation. Children who receive compression-only CPR have the same outcomes as those who received no CPR hence a need to ensure proper and effective ventilation for children (and indeed for all) during CPR.

CPR, like other essential first aid skills, should be learnt by everyone and taught in schools and routinely practiced as drills using appropriate dummies/models where necessary. It’s also imperative that government and other well-meaning organisations provide Automated External Defibrillators (AED), as well as functionally equipped first aid boxes, in strategic public places for prompt use in the event of a cardiac arrest. These small, portable devices have greatly contributed to increased chances of survival from cardiac arrests.aed-two-steps-flyer2

There are very many useful web-based resources (including videos) that are designed to help everyone acquire basic CPR skills. These include;

…happy learning!



  1. Honestly, I still don’t understand how to do a CPR and why the mouth to mouth may not be relevant. Can you provide a more detailed and pictorial “CPR How to” ? Thanks.

    This place is rather quiet. Thumbs up for the work you do but it may help if you visit popular blogs like lindaikeji or wives connection to advertise your blog. You just comment on a post and then invite people to visit your blog at d end. All the best.

  2. I kind of heard and seen pple perform CPR in the past eg,the case of fabrice muamba,and it was so touching how he came back after and hour. I am glad to av learnt how to perform it better now,I understood every bit of the explanation. thanks so much….. I still don’t know the motive behind this priceless act of benign. Thanks

    1. Glad to know that the post has been helpful to you.
      The motive is simple – if everyone stays healthy, the less the strain on the healthcare system and thus healthiet professionals too.
      Pls spread word of this blog so othrrs can benefit too.

  3. With the knowledge of CPR during my training of BLS and ACLS,i have successfully save more than 10 patient in a month withing my juridiction

  4. Hi you have a good website over here! Thanks for posting this interesting information for us! If you keep up this good work I’ll visit your weblog again. Thanks!

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