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Correspondence: A/Prof Lim Swee Han, email@example.com
The core skills required in resuscitation of cardiac arrest individuals is referred to as Basic Cardiac Life Support or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Once cardiac arrest (an unresponsive patient with no breathing or only gasping motions) is recognised, chest compressions should be initiated. Healthcare workers may choose to also check for a pulse to verify cardiac arrest if they are trained. The time taken for breathing check (and pulse check) should not exceed ten seconds. Good quality chest compressions are recommended with each being delivered with arms extended, elbows locked, shoulders vertically above the patient’s chest and the heel of the palm on the lower half of the sternum. The rescuer should push hard and fast, with a compression of at least 5.0 cm,100 compressions per minute for adults and allow complete chest recoil after each compression. Every 30 chest compressions should be followed promptly by two quick and short ventilations (each 400–600 ml tidal volume) delivered within six seconds. Chest compression-only CPR is recommended for dispatcher-instructed CPR or if the rescuer, for any reason, is unable or unwilling to do mouth-to-mouth ventilations. CPR should only be stopped when the patient wakes up or an emergency team arrives and takes over patient care, or if an automated external defibrillator were to prompt interruption of chest compressions for analysis of heart rhythm or delivery of shock.
Keywords: cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, compressions-only, mouth-to-mouth ventilations, pulse check
Singapore Med J 2011; 52(8): 538-543