Heart massage, why it saves life and how to do it

Heart massage, why it saves life and how to do it

This episode of "Daily Health Pills" explains the importance of heart massage and when to intervene

It is essential in the event of cardiac arrest to do, and to act quickly, as is always the case when an acute heart problem develops. In particular, care must be taken when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood, suddenly passing from a normal beat to a very irregular beat, the one typical of a severe arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation.

The heart begins to jump, the blood no longer moves normally within the body and unfortunately the person can go to death. In this sense, heart massage can help save the lives of many of the 60 thousand people who go to death every year in Italy. But you have to hurry, if you do not intervene within five minutes, the chances of saving a life become increasingly slim.

Heart attack: what to do

When there is a heart attack, the heart is suddenly hit by an electrical storm that paralyzes it in some way. When this sort of paralysis occurs there are three life-saving things, two of which can be done by any person who has been trained in short-course resuscitation (BLSD). The 3 key points are: the heart massage, the use of the defibrillator and the call to the emergency system that must be made first. In the absence of adequate interventions, the probability of saving the person and avoiding irreversible brain damage drops on average by 10% every minute. In this waiting phase, heart massage is essential.

How is heart massage done?

It is necessary to place a hand in the center of the person's chest, at the height of the heart and do 100-120 chest compressions per minute with the chest inverted by an average of 5 cm. The objective of this maneuver: to allow a minimum of blood circulation to be maintained while waiting for the defibrillator to arrive.

Unfortunately, this condition is difficult to identify in advance, which is why we speak of sudden death. We must try to pay attention to the signals of the heart. For example, a pain in the center of the chest that radiates to the neck, torso, jaw and left arm, sometimes accompanied by a feeling of nausea. It is essential to contact the emergency services immediately, maybe ask the person a question to see if they can react and check their breathing.

To follow the daily Health Pill "Heart Massage", click and listen here

“Daily Health Pills” is Tipsforwomens TakeCare's podcast series, curated by Federico Mereta. In each episode we talk about prevention, care and good habits.

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