Life on the line: Crash course in CPR

By Malika Dudley - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is used when a victim has no pulse and is not breathing. In effect, they're dead, the hope is -- to revive. I soon found out just how hard it is.

"Especially if you're too exhausted, don't feel bad that you need to stop because you don't want to pass out next to your victim then you'll be no good," Khryz Picon said.

I was no good, after just 15 compressions, completely out of breath -- the full amount is 30. After taking a first aid / CPR class in high school, I thought I knew my stuff. How quickly we forget!

"Bystanders aren't sure what to do especially if they're untrained, I always tell my students if you're not sure if you've completely forgot what you learned from your training, at least call 911," Picon said.

Our instructor Khrys, gave us a 2-hour crash course. Full certification takes 8 hours. We learned our ABC's.

"The abc is when you're checking an unconscious person you check the airway, breathing and circulation," Picon said.

And our triple C's -- check the victim, call 911, and ccare for them until help arrives.

"Triple c's are your emergency action steps," Picon said.

There is a difference between CPR for adults, children and infants. All need 2 breaths and 30 compressions, but how and when you do it changes.

For an infant, you only use 2 to 3 fingers to compress. And you cover both their mouth and nose to give a breath.

For a child or adult victim...

"You're going to put the middle of, the heel of your hand, interlace the other hand," Picon said.

Keep a strong shoulder width stance, and arms locked -- this will help you to last longer. the depth varies here too for a child -- an inch to an inch and a half, while it's 2 inches for adults. pinch their nose, and breathe into their mouth.

"How long should your rescue breath last, it only lasted one second, so don't breath too hard, just like normal breathing you take a deep breath for you and blow that's it," Picon said.

If you breathe too hard, you push air into their stomach and could trigger reflux. But, the opposite applies to compressions, they must be forceful.

"One thing I thought was surprising was when you're trying to do cpr on someone if you press hard enough, which you have to , in order to get air in their bodies, you might break their ribs," CPR student Tina Ludewig said.

"Yes there is a possibility that you will break their bones," Picon said.

Don't stop if you hear a pop or snap. Khrys explained it's normal -- and, it's better to break a rib than let the person die. But, the best advice we got was to keep a first aid kit at home and in our cars. A first aid class is always good too.

"At the American Red Cross chapter we have class almost every day, and we do child, infant, adult CPR, and even also do pet first aid," Picon said.

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