In performing CPR, it is both crucial to know when to start and when to stop. When to start is easy and usually discussed at large at first when teaching CPR; you start giving chest compression when a person shows no signs of life after ten seconds. It is a commonly asked and answer question when it comes to CPR.
However, how about when to stop? Knowing when to stop is as important as knowing when to start in CPR emergencies. It is significant and can mean the life or death of a person in cardiac arrest.
To guide you on that matter, here are a few signs and situations to look out for to know when to stop administering CPR. Once you start CPR, do not stop except in one of these events:
1. You see an obvious sign of life from the patient (breathing, movement, etc.).
When you notice that the patient has finally been awoken, stop administering CPR. It means that you are successful in bringing back the normal blood flow to the brain and that the person has gone to its senses and regained consciousness.
2. An AED is available and is ready to be used.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is primarily used to help those in sudden cardiac arrest. It might look sophisticated, but it is easy to use. It is a medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and check if it is experiencing irregular rhythm, and if deemed necessary, deliver an electrical shock to help the heart to be restored to its natural, effective rhythm.
3. You are too exhausted to continue.
CPR is exhausting. Unless you are used to doing it or are just really physically fit, it is exhausting. For most people, you may find yourself tired as the longer it takes for the medical professionals to arrive. So, when you are too exhausted, stop, immediately, because there is a high chance you will mess up the chest compression rhythm and that will only render your hard work useless and will make you go back to square one.
However, if there is another qualified person in the surroundings, they may offer to trade places with you for a while, or vice versa.
4. EMS personnel or medical professionals arrive and take over.
When emergency medical services (EMS) personnel (such as ambulance services or paramedic services) or generally any medical professionals arrive at the scene, let them take over administering care on the patient. They are trained and specialized in the situation, have a better knowledge of what to do, and can respond quickly and efficiently to save the person's life.
5. The scene becomes unsafe.
When the environment becomes too dire and unsafe, stop. If you continue to perform, you are placing both you and the patient at a greater risk of becoming hurt, injured, or whatever unfortunate thing may happen to you. If possible, ask other people for help and relocate to a better and safer location.