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CPR: What Surfers Need To Know [Water Safety Guide]

According to the American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation otherwise known as CPR is a “emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating,”.


The benefits of becoming CPR certified are endless, especially within the context of surfing.


When surfing in places without a lifeguard tower a CPR certification could mean the difference between life and death if another surfer gets him or herself into trouble.


We’ll break down some of the basics to becoming CPR certified but reading this article is not by any means a way of getting CPR certified.



History of CPR

The history of CPR goes back quite a long way. It starts in 1732 when the first successful use of mouth to mouth resuscitation was documented in Scotland.


We then jump all the way to 1960 where a group of doctors combine mouth to mouth resuscitation and chest compressions to create what we know today as CPR.


Later in 1963 the American Heart Association formally endorsed CPR.


In 2008 it was recommended by the AHA to skip mouth to mouth procedures and focus primarily on chest compressions as a bystander calls 911.


When is CPR Used?

CPR should be used when someone is not breathing properly or their heart has entered a cardiac arrest meaning it has stopped beating. In cardiac arrest, CPR’s primary goal is to keep the person alive until first responders arrive to give proper medical care.


When is CPR NOT used?

CPR shouldn’t be used if the unconscious person appears to be breathing normally.


It also shouldn’t be used if the person is obviously dead.


Another reason that it should be stopped is when medical professionals have arrived to complete proper care.


CPR Explained

*These steps are in adherence to the American Red Cross CPR steps but should not be used in an emergency situation. For proper steps please visit the American Red Cross website here.

  1. Check that the scene is safe and use proper personal protective equipment

  2. Check for responsiveness, breathing, bleeding, or other life threatening conditions

  3. If they are unresponsive immediately call 911

  4. Kneel next to the person and place their back on a flat surface

  5. Give 30 chest compressions with hands centered over the chest with a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute at depth at least two inches per compression.

  6. Give 2 breaths. Pinch the person's nose shut and put your mouth over their mouth and breathe for about 1 second. Be sure to allow air to exit in between breaths

  7. Continue to administer CPR at a rate of 2 breaths for every 30 chest compressions

CPR Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the 7 steps of CPR in order?

  1. Check that the scene is safe and use proper personal protective equipment

  2. Check for responsiveness, breathing, bleeding, or other life threatening conditions

  3. If they are unresponsive immediately call 911

  4. Kneel next to the person and place their back on a flat surface

  5. Give 30 chest compressions with hands centered over the chest with a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute at depth at least two inches per compression.

  6. Give 2 breaths. Pinch the person's nose shut and put your mouth over their mouth and breathe for about 1 second. Be sure to allow air to exit in between breaths

  7. Continue to administer CPR at a rate of 2 breaths for every 30 chest compressions

Q. Is CPR always 30 compressions to 2 breaths?

For the adult needing resuscitation, yes. However for a child or infant it is 15 compressions to 2 breaths.


Q. What is the ratio for 1 person CPR?

It remains the same at 30 compressions to 2 breaths.


Q. What is the 30 2 rule in CPR?

For every thirty compressions completed two breaths must be administered.


Q. How to Get CPR Certified (H2)

In order to get CPR certified you must take a CPR class typically done through the American Red Cross. They only take a few hours but the information learned is incredibly valuable when you find yourself in a CPR situation. Visit the American Red Cross website to find a class near you here.


CPR

CPR skills and certifications are incredibly useful.


Surfing is dangerous and even the best surfers run into trouble in rough conditions. So before you go surfing next, maybe consider getting CPR certified.

For more information on cardiopulmonary resuscitation please visit the American Red Cross here or the American Heart Association here.


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