Learn the proper hand position for giving CPR chest compressions in this free video clip on basic first aid.
Hi again, I’m Michelle of the AD HOC Group. Rescue breathing alone may not be enough to help this person. In this section, we’re going to talk about the proper hand position for doing compressions. When rescue breaths aren’t enough to revive your victim you will need to start compressions. Compressions are the only means of keeping the blood flowing to the heart, brain and other vital organs, so it’s important to begin compressions as soon as possible. Slow circulation can result in blood clots as well as depriving vital organs of the oxygen they need to survive. It’s important to do compressions effectively. I’ll start by demonstrating proper hand placement. First you will have to bare the victims chest, this is to help you see where you’re placing your hands, it’ll also help to get the victim ready for the paramedics to place the AED pads on the victims chest as soon as they arrive. The AED is needed to reset the heart rhythm so your job is to keep the patient stable with blood circulating. The sternum is a long flat bone that runs down the center of the chest. The heel of your hand should be parallel to the sternum, not crosswise to it and be placed between the nipples. This places your hand right over the heart. Place the other hand right on top of the first, heel on the wrist and lock your fingers, this lifts the lower hands fingers from the chest so that your compressions will center on the sternum and not be spread out to the ribs. When your hands are properly placed, the thrust of your compressions will pump the most blood from the heart and have the least chance of breaking any ribs. If you should break a rib, however, just keep compressing, the rib can always heal if the person recovers and if you’re positioned correctly on the sternum, you’ll be pulling away from the rib, not pushing down on the ribs, so it shouldn’t cause any damage to the heart. The important thing to remember is that lives are saved by keeping the circulation going until someone else arrives with an automatic external defibrillator or AED.