13 February 2010

Indifference: Society Can Kill

That truth has been brought home powerfully in Hong Kong. A woman died of an arterial blockage after passersby and newspaper vendor standing two meters away ignored her for two hours as she writhed on the ground. Cardiac arrest, which frequently leads to such sudden collapses, remains a leading cause of death everywhere, especially for adult men. Internal hemorrhage, diabetic shock, epilepsy, poisoning.

If you want to help someone who has collapsed, your priorities are A-B-C : Airway, Breathing and Circulation. If breathing and the heart stop for 4-6 minutes, the brain will probably suffer irreversible damage.

Restoring respiration can often be as easy as clearing the airway of the tongue or foreign object obstructing it. If the airway is clear and the person is still not breathing, perform artificial respiration by tilting back the head and blowing air directly into the mouth every five seconds.

If the heart isn’t beating, enough blood to keep the patient alive can be pumped with manual artificial circulation. The live saving combination, CPR, requires special training to perform correctly.
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Image source: hometestingblog.testcountry.com