Conditions to start CPR

There are certain conditions that must be considered when starting CPR. If you notice, CPR stands for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. Cardio means heart, pulmonary means lungs and resuscitation is to revive.

It is therefore imperative that CPR can only be done to victims fo cardiac and pulmonary arrest. To clarify, CPR is started or applied when the three following conditions exist:

  • the victim is unresponsive
  • the victim has no breathing
  • the victim has no pulse (no signs of life)


Clinical Death and Biological Death

When the heart stops pumping the lungs stop breathing, the person is in a state of clinical death. Usually, this is measured from the moment the cessation of heart and lung functions begin.

Most often the time table is 0 to 4 minutes. In this instance, remaining oxygen in the blood can still supply the brain with enough oxygen without brain damage. However after 4 minutes, the oxygen remaining in the blood will be used up and there is already the possibility that brain damage will occur. At this point in time, the person is said to be in the state of biological death.

To summarized:

CLINICAL DEATH (0-4 minutes) - occurs from the time the person stops breathing and the heart stops pumping.

BIOLOGICAL DEATH (4 minutes onwards) - brain damage may occur at this point.


Circulatory System Video

You do not have to memorize the circulatory system. What is important is that you will understand the importance of blood circulation.

Basically blood carries nutrients and oxygen to all parts of body, including the Brain. The blood is being pumped by our heart. Therefore, if the heart stops, the brain will not receive oxygenated blood and in a few minutes, brain damage occurs.

Once damage, the brain cells cannot be repaired.

Therefore it is essential that CPR should be provided immediately once the Heart stops pumping. By providing external chest compression, blood circulation can be achieved. Providing ventilations or mouth to mouth to a victim can also provide the necesarry oxygen for the blood to circulate.


Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Risk factors for heart disease can be classified into two categories. Knowing this risk can surely help the individual reduce the risk of acquiring heart disease or suffering from heart attack

Controllable Factors

  • cigarette smoking
  • excessive coffee intake
  • lack of exercise
  • obesity
  • birth control pills
  • Foods (high cholesterol intake)
  • stress
Uncontrollable Risk Factors

  • Aging
  • gender (male)
  • Family History
As you have noticed many of the risk factors can be prevented or controlled. By eating the right food and doing exercise can help a lot in the prevention of heart disease. It is sad to note that much of the food we eat today are filled with saturated fats. Often this will lead to the development of fatty deposits in the walls of the coronary arteries.


Leading Cause of Death - Heart Attack


Based on statistical data, the number one killer among all diseases is Heart Attack. In most cases, people ignore early signals of heart attack and usually denies that these could be life threatening.

Study shows that most of the damage of to the heart occurs during the early stage of the attack (first 2 hours). Considering this situation, rapid intervention is necessary to insure lesser damage or insure that the patient will survive.

Unfortunately however, most cases of mild heart attack are not often recognized and are often disregarded. Denial is a common factor to any people suffering from health problems.

Signs of Heart Attack

- squeezing stabbing pain at the center of the chest
- may become more intense with physical activity
- usually accompanied with fainting, sweating, shortness of breath
- often confused with indigestion or heart burn
- pain may radiate down the left arm, across the shoulders, neck, jaw, or back

It is best to know these signs and and if possible to call for assistance once this signs are present to insure that lifesaving care can be provided immediately if the situation gets worst.

For a detailed information of the leading causes of death click here