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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Basic Life Support


Basic life support, also known as BLS, is a set of emergency medical procedures that can be performed to help save someone's life in the event of a cardiac arrest or other medical emergency. Knowing how to perform BLS can be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.


The first step in BLS is to check for responsiveness. If the person is not responding, you should call your hospital emergency number immediately. If the person is responsive, you should ask them if they are okay and if they are experiencing any symptoms.


The next step is to check for breathing. If the person is not breathing, you should begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) immediately. CPR involves placing the person on their back and performing chest compressions to help circulate blood and oxygen to the brain. You should continue CPR until emergency medical services arrive or until the person starts breathing again.


If the person is breathing, but they are not responding, you should place them in the recovery position. This is a position where the person is lying on their side with their head tilted back and their top arm supporting their head. This position helps to keep the person's airway open and prevent choking.


Another important aspect of BLS is to be aware of the signs of a heart attack. These signs include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, and pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If you suspect that someone is experiencing a heart attack, you should call your hospital emergency number immediately and begin CPR if needed.


How to do CPR


Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving procedure that can be performed on someone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating. Knowing how to perform CPR can be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.


In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to perform CPR on an adult.


Step 1: Check for responsiveness. Before starting CPR, check to see if the person is responsive. If they are not responsive, you should call your hospital emergency number immediately.


Step 2: Check for breathing. If the person is not breathing, you should begin CPR immediately.


Step 3: Position yourself. Kneel down beside the person and place the heel of one hand on the center of their chest, just above the nipples. Place the other hand on top of the first hand, and interlock your fingers.


Step 4: Perform chest compressions. Press down on the chest with both hands, using your body weight to help compress the chest. The compression rate should be about 100 compressions per minute.


Step 5: Open the airway. Tilt the person's head back and lift their chin with one hand. Pinch their nose shut with the other hand.


Step 6: Give breaths. Pinch the person's nose shut and give two breaths, making sure their chest rises with each breath.


Step 7: Repeat. Continue performing chest compressions and giving breaths in a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 breaths.


It's important to note that CPR should only be performed by trained individuals. If you are not trained in CPR, it's still important to call for emergency medical services and follow their instructions.


It's also important to note that the American Heart Association (AHA) has updated the CPR guidelines in 2020, it now recommends that laypeople should perform compressions only, with no rescue breathing. This is called Hands-Only CPR. The AHA's reasoning is that most cardiac arrests happen in people's homes, where there's usually no one around to help. And many people who do try to help are hesitant to perform rescue breathing, which requires close contact with someone else's mouth and can be difficult to do correctly.


How to use an AED


An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a device that can be used to help restart the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. AEDs are becoming increasingly common in public places such as airports, shopping centers, and schools, as well as in many private businesses. Knowing how to use an AED can be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.


In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to use an AED.


Step 1: Locate the AED. Look for the AED in the area where the emergency is taking place. AEDs are usually located in a visible and accessible location such as near the entrance of a building or on the wall of a public area.


Step 2: Turn on the AED. Once you have located the AED, turn it on by pressing the power button. The AED will provide verbal instructions on how to proceed.


Step 3: Attach the pads. Open the AED's pads package and place the pads on the person's bare chest, as directed by the AED's instructions. The pads will have pictures or text on them showing where to place them on the person's chest.


Step 4: Analyze the heart rhythm. The AED will analyze the person's heart rhythm and determine if a shock is needed. If a shock is needed, the AED will give a verbal instruction to press the shock button.


Step 5: Perform CPR. If the AED does not advise a shock, it will tell you to perform CPR. Follow the instructions given by the AED for the correct rate and depth of compressions.


Step 6: Repeat. Continue following the instructions given by the AED until emergency medical services arrive.


It's important to note that before using an AED, it's important to call your hospital emergency number immediately and follow the instruction of emergency responders. It's also important to note that AEDs are designed to be easy to use and are often equipped with visual and verbal instructions. Most AEDs will guide the user through the process step by step and will not deliver a shock unless it is necessary.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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