We’ve all heard of the harrowing stories where someone, whether a stranger, family member or friend, collapses. Without CPR, many times, it’s too late once the person receives medical treatment from EMS. One such encounter took place right in front of Dr. Dennis Begos.
Dr. Begos’s son’s football coach fell to the ground, as he had a heart attack from what’s known as the “Widow Maker.” Dr. Begos was at the right place at the right time and immediately ran to the coaches’ side. He performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. The coach thankfully survived.
“As a doctor, I have to know CPR, I’ve performed it in the hospital setting, but this was the first time I ever used it in this type of situation. I wasn’t the only one to rush to his side, several of us got to him really quickly, and I began CPR. If we had not been there, or if no one knew what to do, this man would not have survived. It’s critical to learn CPR. If you can’t take a suitable course for whatever reason, look it up on YouTube, take a course online, or at least understand the steps necessary to save a life.” Dr. Begos explained.
CPR stands for chest compressions and rescue breaths. Getting oxygen into the body is crucial. If a person is breathing, do not begin CPR, but if you check their airway and they are not breathing, you must start resuscitating them immediately.
Kneel beside them and check their airway. Make sure the person is lying down on a level area. Ask someone to call 911. If you’re alone call 911 first.
Position the heel of your hand on their sternum a few inches down from their neck, near their heart.
Take your other hand and place it on top of the opposite hand and interlock your fingers, keeping your arms straight. Get on your knees and lean over the person.
Begin chest compressions by pressing down about 2 inches into the person’s chest. Do 30 chest compressions (100 per minute). Many people suggest doing the compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees Song, “Staying Alive” for accurate timing and control.
Open the airway by tilting the person’s head back and allowing their mouth to fall open.
Pinch their nose shut, then blow a breath into their mouth by covering their mouth with yours. Turn and look to see if their chest is rising and falling.
Repeat the rescue breaths again and watch the chest rise and fall.
Start chest compressions again and keep doing these steps repeatedly until help arrives or someone else takes over CPR for you.
Dennis Begos MD is a highly-regarded surgeon with many years of progressive surgical techniques and performing life-saving surgery. Dr. Begos has been in hospital leadership and mentoring and training roles for his peers for many years. He takes great pride in educating physicians, medical professionals, and patients.