A very important role as cabin crew is administering first aid. The airlines will provide extensive first aid training, including CPR, but we thought we would give you an insight into CPR so you are better prepared for your training course.
Hands on CPR
We have provided a guidance on CPR Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and CPR with rescue breaths as of 2016. Please note these guidelines do change periodically.
It is imperative when you find a casualty that is not breathing normally to carry out a chest compression first:
- Ask someone to call for an ambulance (if you are not on board an aircraft) whilst you commence CPR. (If you are on an aircraft the airline will have an emergency procedure in place where other crew members will assist the first person on the scene giving CPR).
- Ideally the patient needs to be flat on a hard surface before your commence CPR, e.g. on the floor or on a table
- Place the heel of your hand at the centre of the person’s chest, then place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
- Get close to the patient to the side or straddle if more comfortable and position yourself with your shoulders above your hands.
- Using your body weight press straight down onto their chest, in an ideal world it should be 5-6cm (2.25 inches).
- Always keep your hands on their chest and release the compression allowing the chest to return to its normal position.
- Repeat these compression’s at a fast rate of between 100 to 120 times per minute, until an ambulance arrives or until you become exhausted. If you can share this procedure with someone else this will help.
CPR with rescue breaths
If you are trained in CPR including rescue breaths, you should give chest compression’s with rescue breaths. However, if you are not confident, then use hands-only CPR instead, as above.
- After every 30 chest compression’s, tilt the patients head back and pinch the nose to make a seal and blow steadily 2 breaths into the mouth checking that their chest rises.
- Continue with 30 chest compression’s and two rescue breaths until the patient shows signs of breathing naturally.
Children over one year old
- The main difference with a child to an adult is chest compression’s using one hand only and push down by 5cm (about 2 inches).
Infants under one year old
- Gently open the child’s airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin. Remove any visible obstructions from the mouth and nose.
- Place your mouth over BOTH the mouth and nose of the child and blow steadily into their mouth, checking that their chest rises. Give five initial rescue breaths.
- Unlike an adult, place 2 fingers in the middle of the chest and push down by 4 cm (about 1-5 inches)
- After 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute give 2 rescue breaths.
- Then continue the cycle.
Remember, training cabin crew in first aid can be very extensive but is a life time skill- not just for the working environment.