Basic life support covers a series of skills that can be utilized to save or support the life of an individual. The emergency medical personnel are trained to perform basic life support skills that can also include the use of specialized medical tools and medications. Nevertheless, anyone can learn the basic life support skills with an appropriate training program to be ready to save a life.
Chain of survival
It is important to note that the chain of survival is the foundation of basic life support and includes recognition of an emergency, calling for emergency assistance, early delivery of CPR and early defibrillation.
The initial step is recognizing when an individual requires immediate medical attention such as the indications of stroke or heart attack. This is followed by calling for emergency assistance if the individual requires one.
Early delivery of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can provide life-saving circulation and breathing for those who are not breathing and have no pulse. As for early defibrillation, it is delivered to an individual without a heartbeat using an electrical jolt to the heart in an attempt to restart it. Remember that the chain of survival is the basis when helping out an individual with cardiac arrest and other emergencies.
It is important to note that basic life support includes the management of the airway, breathing and circulation or ABCs. The airway skills include recognizing when the airway of the victim could not support enough breathing and how to manage it. As for breathing skills, it includes recognizing when an individual is either breathing or has inadequate breathing as well as providing sufficient artificial breathing for the individual. In addition, circulation management includes assessment of the pulse, identifying and treating bleeding as well as restoring circulation as needed.
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
This is a basic life support skill that can be carried out by a trained layperson as well as emergency medical personnel. Take note that CPR involves providing artificial circulation and breathing for an individual who is not breathing and does not have a pulse.
This life-saving technique is achieved by a series of chest compressions where the chest is compressed close to the heart to circulate blood and rescue breathing where the individual is given oxygen by mouth-to-mouth. Take note that CPR can effectively increase the chance of survival for those who are having cardiac arrest. Remember that the earlier CPR is carried out, the higher chance for survival.
The Heimlich maneuver works by unclogging the blocked airway of an individual who is choking and can be carried out by anyone who knows the proper steps. Foreign objects or food can lodge in the upper airway which results to a blockage that makes it difficult to breathe.
With the Heimlich maneuver, it reverses the blockage. All you have to do is position the arms around the individual from behind and deliver a series of upward thrusts below the ribcage. The pressure from the thrusts forces air upwards inside the airway and dislodges the blockage, thus restoring the breathing and increase the chance for survival.