First Aid - When it gets really serious


Even if most Germans, at least once as a driving license applicant, have completed a first aid course, many do not dare to carry out reviving measures in an emergency. The rate is only about ten to 15 percent, so estimates Professor Hans-Richard Arntz of the Berlin Charité. One reason: many people shy away from mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But this is no longer necessary according to recent findings.

Cardiac arrest: quick action is required

The dreaded cardiac arrest: This is the term used to describe the onset of cardiac activity, a condition that leads to circulatory failure, loss of consciousness, lack of breathing, respiratory arrest, and a blue-gray coloration of the skin. If quick resuscitation measures are taken, one is Recovery of the heart function possible. If not intervened, the cardiac arrest leads to death. Already after about three minutes it comes to the damage of the brain, a few minutes later the death occurs. In the case of a heart attack or stroke, the worst case scenario is cardiac arrest.

First aid in case of unconsciousness

When someone is unconscious, the whole body relaxes. In the supine position, there is a risk that the tongue sinks back into the neck and blocks the respiratory tract. In order to check the breathing, the patient's head is stretched backwards, and the assistant kneels at shoulder height beside him. One touches his forehead with one hand and the other with his chin. So you can gently bend the head of the person in the direction of the neck and raise his chin. His mouth can then be easily opened to possibly rid him of visible leftovers or bits of food.

When the injured man breathes, he is brought into the stable side position. This ensures that the affected person's mouth becomes the lowest point of the body so that vomit and blood can drain away and not enter the respiratory tract. One should not leave unconscious ones alone, because the Breathing can expose you.

It usually stands out at the first closer consideration, when a person stops breathing. The ribcage no longer rises and no breath is visible or audible on the nose and mouth. You can put your hands on the chest and feel no breathing movements. If you do not intervene now, it may be too late for the patient.

New rules of resuscitation: First 30 compressions, then 2 respirations

In a patient who is no longer breathing, you should first renounce ventilation - also called respiratory donation. The previous ABC rule of resuscitation (A: clear airway, B: ventilation, C: cardiac massage, D: defibrillation) is no longer valid. This is to ensure that more resuscitation will be successful in the future.

One should "yell at the unconscious" and, for example, shake his shoulders. If there is no reaction, you have to start immediately with the Chest compressions begin: because when the heart suspends or stops beating effectively, within a short time the cycle collapses. The compression of the heart muscle between sternum and spine ensures a certain blood circulation. On the other hand, the pressure in the entire thorax also changes during pressing, which in turn also drives the blood circulation by means of a suction effect.

  • The patient has to flat his back lying on a hard surface, preferably the floor, then you remove the clothes over the rib cage.
  • The right pressure point: Clue is the lower end of the bony sternum. The easiest way is to feel your finger along the bottom rib to the middle of the body. The right pressure point is then exactly in the middle of the chest approximately three transverse fingers (five to seven centimeters) above the lower end of the sternum. To find him quickly, it makes sense to mark him with a fingernail or a pen.
  • Now the helper is kneeling beside the patient, puts the palm of one hand exactly on this point, the second hand is placed parallel or crosswise on the pressure point placed. His shoulders are bent over the pressure point, his arms stretched out, so that the pressure can be applied vertically from top to bottom. This is the only way to gain enough strength, because with an adult the sternum has to be pushed in at least five centimeters. In the relief phase, it is important to relieve the pressure completely, so that the chest can return to its original position. The heelballs remain at the pressure point.
  • About 100 times a minute should be pressed and relieved again. This costs a lot of strength, so it is best to alternate with another helper. Sometimes the heart also starts to beat again by itself. If this is not the case, CPR should be continued until the doctor or paramedic arrives and looks after the patient.


A respiratory donation should be given only after the begun heart pressure massage. According to the new revised guidelines for emergency care and resuscitation in respiratory and circulatory arrest the ratio of chest compressions to ventilation generally from 15: 2 to now 30: 2 (30 compressions of the chest per two breaths through mouth-to-mouth or mouth -to-nose ventilation).

  • The best method is mouth-to-nose resuscitation. The helper kneels at shoulder height next to the patient lying on his back. One hand touches the forehead, the other under the chin. Now the head is stretched backwards, the lower jaw advanced and the mouth closed by pressure with the thumb on the area between lower lip and chin.
  • The helper inhales normallyHe puts his mouth over the nostrils so that his lips close around the nose of the person concerned firmly and airtight. Then he blows his exhaled air with gentle pressure in the nose, stops, breathes again and repeats the breath about 10 to 15 times a minute.
  • That the air also arrives in the lungs, can be recognized by the fact that the chest of the patient is raised. Since this does not always work immediately, you must not give up. Rather, one should then extend the head slightly further and carefully increase the ventilation pressure.
  • In case of nasal injuries you can also give mouth-to-mouth respiration. Again, the patient's head is overstretched, but one opens the mouth with the thumb above the chin. The thumb and forefinger of the other hand close the nose. Your own mouth is then placed as close as possible over the patient and the air blown in as in the mouth-nose technique.

The breath should be continued in any case until the doctor or a paramedic takes over. Often patients also start to breathe independently again. Even then, you should not leave them alone, but should stick to it and check your breathing regularly.

Heart attack

Cardiovascular diseases continue to be the most prevalent in Germany most common cause of death. The Federal Statistics Office reported in sober numbers that more than 46 percent of all deaths are caused by heart attacks or strokes. The cause of myocardial infarction is the sudden closure of a coronary artery (coronary artery). The heart muscle is supplied with oxygen and nutrients via these vessels.

The symptoms: Severe pain behind the sternum, often in the left arm, the shoulder or upper abdomen radiating pain. The victims are afraid. The face is pale gray, sometimes sweaty. Nausea, sometimes with vomiting, may be added. Not infrequently, there is a collapse of the cardiovascular system. Most patients are afraid to be alone. You should avoid anything that upsets the patient.

Important is: Immediately call the emergency medical service and request an emergency doctor. The patient should never be left unattended, he must be calmed down. If the patient is conscious, he should be stored with an upper body gently.


Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Germany. In the apoplexy, as the medical term is concerned, circulatory disorders of the brain occur with acutely occurring functional disorders of the nervous system. The brain cells are particularly dependent on an uninterruptible supply of oxygen and nutrients. Oxygen and nutrients are transported via the blood system to the brain cells.

In a circulatory disorder of the brain, the nerve cells of the brain die very quickly. For this purpose, an interruption of the blood supply of a few minutes is sufficient.

symptomsSymptoms of a stroke include, for example, half-sided paralysis or numbness, drooping corners of the mouth, speech and speech disorders, or visual disturbances such as half-blindness or visual field loss. Until the doctor comes, first aid must be provided: if the patient can breathe and is conscious, lay him flat on the floor and support his head. If he is unconscious, he must be placed in the stable side position so that no stomach contents reaches the lungs.

According to ADAC, the simple measures in the first few minutes are the deciding factors in a cardiovascular standstill, because otherwise all further efforts of the rescue service and in the hospital remain unsuccessful. Every minute without treatment, the chances of survival of sufferers drop by ten percent.




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