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Who do we do CPR on?

Join our Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course designed for healthcare professionals managing cardiopulmonary arrest and cardiovascular emergencies. Learn basic life support skills, airway management, pharmacology, and more. Register now to become an expert resuscitation team member!

Who do we do CPR on?

How do I know if this is the right thing to do?

The first time you you perform CPR of on a real person is challenging in many ways. 

First, you have to recognize what is actually going on in this situation.

Second, Get past the second guessing yourself.  The question I personally ask all of my students is “Who do we do CPR on?”  While I get many answers and I know the correct canned answer, I choose to tell them an easier way to get past this in their head.  “We simply do CPR on anyone that lets us.”

Lets elaborate.  People can be unresponsive for many reasons: medical reason such as diabetes or infections, trauma from falls or accidents, or the dreaded cardiac events.  When you are trying to make that split decision if CPR is the correct choice, people often second guess themselves unless they have experience doing CPR on real people.  These hesitations are OK, your brain has to adjust to what you are about to do.  While we want to you to act quickly because seconds matter, we also know the brain says this can’t be possible at this very moment.  They can’t actually be dead, can they?

When I give the answer of anyone who lets us, I simply mean this: If the person is unresponsive, appears to not be breathing, and you think they may be in cardiac arrest, BEGIN CPR.  I can also tell you this: The patient will let you know pretty quickly if they don’t need CPR.  If their eyes open and stare at you, they start yelling, or they try to slug you, then STOP!  All jokes aside, I have seen this happen many times in my career.  

While we 100% want you to recognize the signs and know what to look for, I tell everyone, it is OK to second guess yourself the first time you do CPR.  Afterall, if you recognize the potential need for CPR and begin compressions, you may just make the difference in their survival.  This is why we train, this is why we teach, and this is why you want to learn!



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