If someone’s heartbeat stops, it’s imperative to act quickly as there’s often very little time for successful resuscitation. If bystanders wait for an ambulance to arrive instead of acting themselves, the person can die or suffer permanent brain damage.
When it comes to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) however, many people don’t know how to properly perform mouth-to-mouth respiration or find it too challenging. In their agitation, even people with CPR training may forget the correct sequence and ratio of chest compressions to rescue breaths.
If this is the case, the German Heart Foundation (GHF) recommends skipping artificial ventilation and performing chest compressions only, which are the more important CPR measure. It’s far better than doing nothing at all.
There are three basic actions the GHF says you should take:
First, check to see whether the person is conscious. Speak to the person and listen for normal breathing. Gasping or wheezing isn’t normal breathing and could signal the initial phase of cardiac arrest (the heart stopping).
Then call the local emergency number, clearly state your precise location and describe what has happened. (Editor’s note: Malaysia’s emergency number is 999, or 112 from mobile phones.)
Once the emergency medical service has been alerted, begin chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth respiration. Put the victim on his or her back on a firm surface, kneel next to his or her shoulders and place the heel of one hand in the middle of an imaginary line between the nipples.
Place your other hand on top of the first. With outstretched arms, press straight down hard about 5-6cm at a rate of 100-120 compressions a minute (it can help to press to the rhythm of the song Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees).
It’s important not to stop the compressions until an ambulance arrives and emergency medical responders take over. – dpa