One of the most common fears that keep people from performing CPR is the fear of causing more harm than good. You might have also heard that doing CPR can sometimes lead to a cracked rib or some other injury to the patient.
Chest compressions need to be hard and fast in the centre of the chest. For adults in cardiac arrest, you should be pressing down on the chest between 5 – 6 cm. Effective chest compressions can lead to a broken rib or some other injury but it’s important to remember that bones can heal over time whereas death from cardiac arrest is irreversible.
Every second truly counts as starting CPR can double or triple an adult’s chances of survival. During cardiac arrest, the heart stops working properly and can no longer pump blood to the rest of the body including the brain.
You have the power to help save a life. Don’t be afraid that you’ll cause more harm to the patient. By jumping into action and starting CPR, you’re giving that person their best chance of survival.
We think it’s also important to acknowledge that survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are low. It can be devastating to later find out that the individual didn’t survive after you gave it your all to help save their life. If this ever happens to you, we want you to remember that a negative outcome is not your fault. Thank you for stepping in and trying your best.