Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving skill that allows professionals and everyday people alike to resuscitate someone who goes into cardiac arrest. There are so many Americans, including some healthcare professionals that are not required to have certification, that feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency. The knowledge that comes with CPR certification will help reduce loss of life in emergencies both professionally and personally.
Benefits of CPR Certification
Becoming CPR-certified has numerous benefits. Although it may seem tedious for those who have limited time or are not in a situation where they would need it more often such as someone caring for a person with heart issues, but even just spending a few hours learning CPR can have a lifetime of benefits from those efforts.
Here’s why acupuncturist should know CPR:
- CPR saves lives – if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, in a professional or personal setting, it is always important to first call 911, however, in most cases, those few minutes before emergency professionals arrive can be crucial to a patient’s survival. If you are certified in CPR, you will be able to apply skills learned from training to the patient until first responders can take over. Not only this, but the life you save may be that of a loved one, and that’s worth it in its own right.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States claiming the lives of 647,457 people each year. In the case of cardiac arrest specifically, of that number 475,000 of them are from cardiac arrest. Globally, cardiac arrest claims more lives than breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, HIV, auto accidents, firearms, colorectal cancer, and house fires combined.
- CPR creates value in the office – if a co-worker suddenly goes into cardiac arrest, if you know CPR you can provide immediate support, which, as we said, is statistically crucial to survival (nearly 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients survived when a bystander performed CPR, and without CPR only a 5 – 7% survival. More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year). Not only this, but there are about 10,000 cardiac arrests in the workplace each year in the United States, which makes CPR certification that much more important to create a safe work environment as well as setting your resume apart from the crowd.
- CPR is an important and useful skill– a cardiac emergency can occur at any point and CPR-certified individuals can learn how to help individuals in cardiac arrest before the emergency worsens. Unfortunately, each year less than 3% of the U.S. population receives CPR training. The good news is that CPR certification is not limited to healthcare providers. Anyone can learn it! Parent, child, student, office worker, or anyone else. CPR training gives the lay-person and healthcare providers life-saving skills that can be used throughout their life.
- CPR is empowering – helping someone in need creates confidence and empowerment allowing people to step up in emergency or life & death situations. You will be equipped with the tools needed to have confidence & knowledge to make the right decisions in the event of a cardiac emergency – whenever and wherever.
- CPR prevents brain death – what happens when a patient or loved one stops breathing? Permanent brain damage sets in at 4 – 6 minutes, and brain death can occur in 8 – 10 minutes. When CPR is done immediately, not only does the victim’s chances of survival double or triple, but CPR keeps the blood flowing and provide oxygen to the brain & other vital organs.
The benefits of being CPR certified are endless, and it is not only EMT’s, doctors, and nurses who should be certified. Any healthcare provider, including an acupuncturist should maintain an up-to-date CPR certification. This will help maintain the integrity of your office, keep a safe work environment for employees, and possibly save the life of a patient or employee. Other professions that require CPR certification are police, sheriffs, firefighters, military personnel, lifeguards, childcare workers, teachers, nursing home employees, flight attendants, and prison personnel. Regardless of job requirements, anyone with a family should learn CPR as 88% of cardiac arrests occur at home.
What is CPR?
As we stated above, CPR, which stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a life-saving skill to acquire, and many healthcare professionals are required to have certification. It is defined as an emergency procedure that combines chest compressions with artificial ventilation (rescue breaths or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) in order to preserve brain function until emergency services can take over to further restore blood circulation and breathing to the patient in cardiac arrest. CPR is only recommended on patients who are unresponsive with no breathing or gasping breaths. Currently, for a bystander, it is recommended to do early, high-quality chest compressions over mouth-to-mouth in adults. However, for children, it is recommended to do mouth-to-mouth as their issues usually lie in respiratory issues and not cardiac. Those in emergency personnel who have more advanced training in CPR are recommended to perform chest compressions as well as mouth-to-mouth on all patients.
What does CPR do?
- Oxygenates the body and brain for defibrillation and advanced life support
- Increases chances of patient survival once emergency services takes over
- Delay tissue death
- Extend brief window of opportunity for successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage
Although CPR alone results in few recoveries, the outcome of a patient without CPR intervention first is fatal almost across the board. Usually, an electric shock (defibrillation) is needed in order to restore heart rhythm, but only for certain heart rhythms. This is where CPR is important, because it can succeed in inducing a heart rhythm that may be shockable for professionals increasing chances of survival. CPR is usually continued until the person has restored breathing and/or woken up or is declared dead.
Brief History of CPR
The use of CPR dates back to the 1700’s, yet most Americans in today’s world do not know how to do CPR properly or at all. Let’s take a look at a brief timeline on the development of CPR.
- 1740 – Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is officially recommended for drowning victims by the French Academy of Sciences.
- 1775 – Danish veterinarian Peter Abildgaard discovers after rendering a chicken lifeless by shocking it, countershocks on the chest can restore heartbeat.
- 1891 – Dr. Friedrich Maass performed the first documented chest compression in humans rather than ventilation alone to help with circulation. However, chest compressions do not take hold for the next half-century. Instead, open-heart massage is used during this time as the standard.
- 1903 – Dr. George Crile reported the first successful use of external chest compressions according to his research, and the next year reported successful closed chest cardiac massage in 1 human case. As it happened previously, the noninvasive chest compressions didn’t gain attention, and patients continue receiving open-heart massage.
- 1947 – Dr. Claude Beck, a cardiopathic surgeon in Ohio performs the first successful use of an electric defibrillator on an exposed human heart.
- 1954 – Dr. James Elam was the first to prove that expired air was sufficient to maintain adequate oxygenation.
- 1956 – Peter Safar and James Elam invented mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Additionally, for the first time in human medicine, an external defibrillator successfully restores a steady rhythm to a heart. The following year, the first portable external defibrillator is revealed: the 200-lb Hopkins Closed Chest Defibrillator.
- 1960 – Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was developed by resuscitation pioneers Kouwenhoven, Safar, and Jude combining the mouth-to-mouth breathing with chest compressions to create the actions we now call CPR. This year also brought about the invention of Resusci Anne, the life-size training manikin still used today.
- 1963 – American Heart Association’s CPR Committee started by cardiologist Leonard Scherlis, and the American Heart Association formally endorsed CPR.
- 1972 – The world’s first mass citizen training in CPR help by Leonard Cobb in Washington called Medic 2 training over 100,000 people in the first 2 years of the program.
- 1988 – In co-sponsorship with The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association introduces the first pediatric resuscitation courses.
- 1990’s – Defibrillation programs provide resources & training including AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) to the public.
- 2004 – the AHA releases a statement about AED use in children, stating that use of an AED is appropriate in children 1-8 years old.
There still continues to be many advances in the realm of CPR for patients experiencing cardiac arrest. The major component throughout the history of CPR was the development of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which is used to this day by emergency services and is also available and even required in some buildings. It is a portable medical device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm delivering an electrical shock to the heart as needed.
Development of an AED:
- 1947 – As we mentioned above, the first recorded example of shocks on a human heart was by US surgeon Claude Beck. Apparently, during a surgery, a 14-year-old boy’s heart stopped, and Beck had been working on a machine capable of delivering shocks to a heart stating it can start again even after a heart had stopped. After two shocks, the boy’s heart started again. It took many years for anyone to improve on Beck’s model which used two tablespoons with a wooden handle.
- 1956 – Paul Zoll showed the first external defibrillation with a machine that electrical engineer William Kouwenhoven had been working on since the 20’s. This was a less time consuming and less invasive procedure.
- 1978 – the first Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was introduced. Luckily, it changed the world of life saving techniques because it included a process with instructions that after some time became simple enough where a common, non-professional could operate it.
Over time, AEDs have obviously become more widespread, easier, and more convenient to use for a lay person to use as well as healthcare professionals. Having AEDs more accessible have better cardiac arrest survival rates. Where can AEDs go from here? It would be beneficial to continue to make AEDs more available by being more cost effective to allow people, especially those with heart conditions, to have them in their cars or homes. Another development could be apps to show where the closest AED is. The FDA is increasing defibrillator regulation, but it could be a great opportunity for the field of medicine to reexamine their models and find creative ways to improve upon them.
CPR for Acupuncturists
Why should acupuncturists have training in CPR? Well, unfortunately, we never know when an emergency can happen, especially when many patients appear healthy with no known heart disease or other factors. Brain damage can occur within minutes of cardiac arrest, and the advantages of knowing CPR to save a life are endless. Not performing CPR could be the difference of someone (a patient, employee, loved one, or even stranger) living or dying.
It is important at the very least for you, and possibly anyone working for your acupuncturist office to know how to administer basic chest compressions while waiting for emergency personnel. CPR education is crucial for your practice, and personal life where you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.
More Information on CPR
Online CPR Course for Acupuncturists:
Visit the ACE website to take our CPR course which satisfies the standalone NCCAOM CPR requirement.