When you think about CPR, you might picture dramatic scenes from TV shows where it’s portrayed as some kind of magic. But in real life, CPR isn’t quite as straightforward.
Despite its life-saving potential, many people still hold onto outdated beliefs, which is one of the reasons they’re not willing to learn about it and perform CPR in an emergency.
Maybe you thought that CPR was only for medical professionals, and that’s what brought you here. Whatever it is, we’re planning on setting the record straight. It’s time to dispel common myths about CPR and find out the truth, so let’s get into it!
CPR Always Involves Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation
CPR doesn’t always have to involve mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In most situations, when someone loses consciousness, you’ll just have to perform chest compressions.
Recent strides have shown that starting chest compressions immediately can double or even triple the person’s chances of survival. By pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest, you’re able to maintain blood flow to the heart and brain until professional help arrives.
This approach is simpler than you might think and, as such, is recommended for use on teens and adults who suddenly collapse. There are times when traditional CPR is advisable, which is the case for drowning victims or those who have collapsed due to breathing problems. For these individuals, the combination of breaths and compressions can offer a better chance of survival.
CPR Is for Heart Attack Victims
You might think that CPR is reserved for heart attack scenarios, but that’s not the whole picture. You won’t need to perform CPR on a heart attack victim unless it results in cardiac arrest. But besides cardiac arrest, you can use CPR in any of the following emergencies:
- Drowning Incidents. Immediate CPR efforts can expel water from their lungs and restore breath before professional help arrives.
- Suffocation. Whether from a blocked airway or an environment devoid of oxygen, doing CPR can supply the lungs with much-needed air.
- Choking. If the Heimlich maneuver doesn’t work and they lose consciousness, doing CPR will keep the oxygen flowing until the block is removed or help comes.
- Drug Overdose. If someone’s breathing is shallow or stops due to an overdose, providing CPR can buy precious time and maintain blood flow to the brain and heart.
Only Trained Professionals Can Perform CPR Correctly
Many think that CPR is reserved for those with medical badges, but that’s far from the truth. Everyone should learn CPR and apply it in critical situations. Sure, professionals have more extensive training, but the basics of CPR can be grasped by just about anyone willing to learn.
The survival rate of victims who received CPR from bystanders significantly increased compared to those who had to wait for the EMS. The people who helped weren’t medical professionals but rather regular citizens who knew how to do CPR. You see? With the right training, anyone can be ready to step up and give someone a fighting chance at survival.
You Can Be Sued for Performing CPR Incorrectly
When you’re faced with an emergency where someone needs CPR, the fear of a lawsuit shouldn’t hold you back from jumping in to help. You might have heard that if you don’t perform CPR perfectly, you could be dragged into court, but that’s not how it works, especially in Texas.
The Lone Star State, like most others, has Good Samaritan laws in place to protect you when you’re trying to save a life. They offer legal protection for those who step up during crises, ensuring that you won’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law when acting in good faith.
However, you always have to make sure you’re acting in good faith and with good intentions. But the bottom line here is that the law typically has your back, so you don’t need to hesitate if you’re in a position to perform CPR. After all, it’s about helping to keep someone alive until the medical professional can take over.
CPR Is Guaranteed to Save a Life
While giving CPR immediately can increase the chances of survival after cardiac arrest to 75%, this isn’t a guarantee. Unfortunately, your efforts at chest compressions and rescue breaths don’t come with a 100% success rate. Many factors play a role in whether CPR will turn out to be effective, such as the quickness of the response, the overall health of the patient, and what caused the cardiac arrest in the first place.
Sometimes, even if you do everything right, the outcome may not be the one you’re hoping for. It’s important to remember that while you’re giving CPR, you’re buying time – keeping blood flowing, oxygen circulating, and organs alive until professional medical help can arrive.
So, don’t let this discourage you from taking action. The attempt is what matters. You’re stepping up in a critical moment, and that in itself is commendable. Every second counts and your decision to initiate CPR could mean the difference between life and death, even if the outcome isn’t always positive.
CPR Isn’t Safe to Perform During a Pandemic
It’s only natural to be concerned about the safety of performing CPR nowadays, even if the WHO has declared the COVID pandemic over. There are still new cases reported in El Paso, TX, so it’s normal to worry about the risk of disease transmission, but rest assured, there are updated guidelines designed to keep you and the CPR recipient safe.
You can always protect yourself by using a face mask or mouthpieces placed over the person’s mouth while performing compressions. This not only reduces the risk of transmitting any virus but also ensures that you can still provide life-saving assistance when it’s needed most.
Remember, the chance of saving a life with CPR far outweighs the potential risks, especially when you take the right precautions. Besides, emergency medical services are often stretched during a health crisis, so your immediate action can make a huge difference.
You Can Harm Someone by Performing CPR
There’s a chance you might break a rib or cause a bruise while performing CPR, but these injuries are still minor compared to what the side effects of cardiac arrest are. The truth is that a person in cardiac arrest is already in a bad situation, and your intervention can only help.
You’d want to remember this – a few broken ribs can heal, but a lost life can’t be brought back. This doesn’t mean you should be reckless. Proper technique matters. Taking a CPR class can give you the confidence to perform chest compressions and rescue breaths the right way. If ever in doubt, know that emergency operators can also guide you through the process.
CPR Is Only for Adults
Contrary to popular belief, CPR isn’t just for grown-ups. Kids, even infants, can find themselves in situations where they need this life-saving procedure. Your technique will differ slightly. For example, you’ll use only one or two fingers for chest compressions on a baby, as opposed to both hands for an adult.
This is important because children’s bodies are more delicate, and their situations can be time-sensitive. Learning the correct method for all ages can make all the difference.
CPR Myths Dispelled
So now that we’ve dispelled some common myths about CPR, your willingness to do it has hopefully increased. Remember, you don’t need to be a healthcare pro to perform CPR effectively, and it’s not true that CPR is often harmful if done incorrectly.
Yes, precision matters, but your immediate action can truly make a life-or-death difference. The knowledge and skills you gain from CPR training can turn you into someone capable of saving a life when seconds count. So, don’t let misconceptions hold you back.
You now know the true power of CPR and how critical it is for as many people as possible to learn it. Take the next step in finding CPR classes in El Paso, TX, and get trained. It’s a skill you’ll never regret learning, and it could mean everything to someone in need one day.