Cardiac massage is considered the most important link in the chain of survival, after seeking medical help, in an attempt to save a person who has suffered a cardiac arrest, as it allows replacing the heart and continue pumping blood through the body, maintaining brain oxygenation. .
Cardiac massage should always be started when the victim is unconscious and does not breathe. To assess breathing, place the person on their backs, loosen tight clothing, and then rest their face close to the person’s mouth and nose. If you do not see your chest rising, do not feel the breath on your face or if you do not hear any breathing, you should start the massage.
1. How to do it in adults
To perform cardiac massage in adolescents and adults, the following steps must be followed:
- Call 192 and call an ambulance;
- Keep the person face up and on a hard surface;
- Place your hands on the victim’s chest , interlacing your fingers, between the nipples as shown in the figure below;
- Push your hands tightly against your chest , keeping your arms straight and using your own body weight, counting at least 2 pushes per second until the rescue service arrives. It is important to let the patient’s chest return to its normal position between each push.
The cardiac massage is usually interspersed with 2 breaths every 30 compressions, however, if you are an unknown person or if you feel uncomfortable doing the breaths, the compressions must be maintained continuously until the ambulance arrives. Although the massage can be done by just 1 person, it is a very tiring process and, therefore, if there is another person available, it is advisable to take turns every 2 minutes, for example, changing after breathing.
It is very important not to interrupt the compressions, so if the first person who attended the victim gets tired during the cardiac massage, it is necessary that another person continues to do the compressions in a alternating schedule every 2 minutes, always respecting the same rhythm. Cardiac massage should be stopped only when the rescue arrives at the site.
2. How to do in children
To do cardiac massage in children up to 10 years old the steps are slightly different:
- Call an ambulance by calling 192;
- Lay the child on a hard surface and position his chin higher to facilitate breathing;
- Make two mouth-to-mouth breaths ;
- Support the palm of one hand on the child’s chest , between the nipples, on top of the heart as shown in the image;
- Press the chest with only 1 hand , counting 2 compressions per second until the rescue arrives.
- Do 2 mouth-to-mouth breaths every 30 compressions.
Unlike adults, the child’s breaths must be maintained to facilitate oxygenation of the lungs.
3. How to do in babies
In the case of a baby, try to remain calm and follow the following steps:
- Call an ambulance by calling 192;
- Lay the baby on its back on a hard surface;
- Position the baby’s chin higher , to facilitate breathing;
- Remove any object from the baby’s mouth that may be hindering the passage of air;
- Start with 2 mouth-to-mouth breaths ;
- Place 2 fingers on the middle of the chest, normally the index and middle fingers are placed between the nipples, as shown in the figure;
- Press your fingers down , counting 2 thrusts per second, until the rescue arrives.
- Do 2 mouth-to-mouth breaths after every 30 compressions with your fingers.
As with children, in babies the breaths at each 30 compressions must also be maintained to ensure that oxygen is reaching the brain.
If the baby is choking, cardiac massage should not be initiated without first trying to remove the object. See step-by-step instructions on what to do when your baby chokes .
Importance of cardiac massage
Doing cardiac massage is very important to replace the work of the heart and keep the person’s brain well oxygenated, while professional help is coming. That way it is possible to reduce the neurological damage that can start to appear in just 3 or 4 minutes when the heart is not pumping more blood.
Currently, the Brazilian Society of Cardiology recommends performing cardiac massage without the need for mouth-to-mouth breathing in adult patients. The most important thing in these patients is to have an effective cardiac massage, that is, able to circulate the blood in each chest compression. In children, on the other hand, breaths must be performed after every 30 compressions because, in these cases, the major cause of cardiac arrest is hypoxia, that is, lack of oxygenation.