In the best case, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation can save lives. Even today, many people do not know when and how to use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In a first aid course, for example, you learn not only the theory, but also how to use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in practice. This is done, for example, with the help of exercises on a manikin. You have not attended a first aid course or have forgotten most of it? In this article we have summarised the most important information on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for you.
When do you need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?
Basically, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is necessary when the victim stops breathing. However, only ventilating the victim is not enough. In addition to ventilation, cardiac massage must be applied. If the victim stops breathing, this is normally also a case of cardiac arrest. The cardiopulmonary circulation in the human body is interrupted and oxygen is no longer flowing into the body via the bloodstream.
In the case of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it is important to apply first aid as quickly as possible. If a person stops breathing, there is not much time before further consequential damage can occur. The more time that passes with the heart no longer beating and oxygen no longer pumping through the body, the more the body breaks down. If the body remains without oxygen for about 10 seconds, our brain begins to shut down most of its functions. The result is unconsciousness, as the body’s defensive reaction to the lack of oxygen. The body begins to use the remaining oxygen sparingly.
From the 3rd minute onwards, the first nerve cells in the brain begin to break down. But from the 5th minute onwards, provided resuscitation is successful, severe consequential damage can occur in the brain region. This, in itself, has an impact on many other functions of our body, such as speaking or moving. The brain is therefore the most sensitive organ in our body when it comes to oxygen supply. Other organs in our body can withstand several hours without oxygen without suffering major damage.
Is mouth-to-mouth resuscitation sufficient?
No! For successful resuscitation, the combination of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and cardiac massage is necessary. At first, ventilation only ensures that the body gets some oxygen again. But in the case of cardiac arrest, it is actually much more important to get the heart beating again. When the heart starts beating again, oxygen automatically enters the cardiopulmonary circulation again. The reverse is not the case.
How mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration works: Instructions
To ensure a proper supply of breath, you can follow these steps:
- In the first step, lean your head back a little and point your chin upwards. This will help to clear the airway.
- In the next step, take the thumb and the index finger of the hand closer to the forehead and close the nose of the affected person with it.
- Then open the person’s mouth while keeping the chin pointing upwards.
- Then breathe in normally and immediately afterwards place your lips completely around the person’s mouth.
- Breathe out the inhaled air for about 1 second in the mouth so that the person’s chest rises a little.
- Then breathe in deeply again by turning the head to the side. In doing so, the victim’s chest should lower again. After inhaling, repeat the previous step by exhaling the inhaled air in the victim’s mouth.
Combine with cardiac massage
In addition to oxygenation by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, cardiac massage is also important. Only the combination of both measures can lead to successful resuscitation. You can find detailed instructions on resuscitation measures right here.
What happens after resuscitation?
Once breathing and a heartbeat are restored, the victim should be placed in the recovery position. How does this work? You can find out right here. With the stable lateral position, proper and stable breathing can be ensured, even if the affected person is not yet conscious. In addition to the stable side position, the affected person must be taken to hospital immediately. Then further damage and the cause of the cardiac arrest can be clarified.
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in Corona times
Even in corona times, many people are dependent on fast and successful first aid from fellow human beings. But how do you behave when you have to avoid contact with other people? There are two options available to you. Option 1 is to put a tissue over the victim’s nose and mouth. This way, the risk of infection via droplet infection can be avoided as far as possible, while still ensuring sufficient oxygen supply.
Those who do not dare to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation can fall back on option 2 and omit it in case of doubt. Much more important in resuscitation is cardiac massage, which should get the heart beating again. Ventilation serves as an additional aid to bring about resuscitation. But this is not always the case. In first aid after drowning, the supply of oxygen via the respiratory system can be decisive. So you always have to decide depending on the situation. In most cases, however, you can do without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Note: Are you still unsure? Then download the TarisApp and ensure professional first aid in the TarisApp and ensure professional first aid in the vicinity of the accident site. Learn more about it right here.
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