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Resuscitation: All you need to know

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Doctors define resuscitation as the process of curing physiological anomalies – usually a lack of heartbeat or the inability to breathe. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) are the two most common resuscitation types. These procedures play a vital role in medical care and first aid treatments.

Resuscitation becomes necessary in the event of heart failure, choking, near-drowning, or lung complication. Medical professionals use CPR to cure these health incidents, which involves clearing airways and restoring heart rhythm. When a heart attack occurs, medical professionals use a “Defibrillator” to revive the patient.

This article aims to explain resuscitation thoroughly and provide all the essential information regarding related procedures. Let’s begin!

Why is Resuscitation Essential?

By definition, resuscitation, especially CPR, aids in keeping the oxygen and blood flowing throughout the body, preventing brain damage and increasing the rate of survival for cardiac arrest patients.

This skill is a must-have for both medical and ordinary individuals, as in an emergency, it can save a life before the rescue team arrives. Heart attacks are common; in fact, the CDC reveals that heart disease claims more than 600,000 lives yearly and is a leading cause of death globally.

In all honesty, the more individuals who learn this restoration technique, the better for humanity as the American Heart Association recorded over 350,000 cardiac arrests outside of a hospital, and 88% of the victims died after the occurrence. The survival rate for those 350,000 patients would have risen if each had someone with CPR skills available.

Besides saving lives, equipping oneself with CPR knowledge boosts self-esteem. Learning this process is hassle-free as materials are available online to train yourself for medical emergencies.

Types of Resuscitation

As previously stated, there are two different types of resuscitation. The first is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) – a rescue breathing technique for adults, children, and infants. The second type requires the rescuer to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to attempt resuscitation.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Professional healthcare providers commonly perform this restoration technique, and it primarily employs two essential skills: rescue breathing and chest compression. Another term for this tactic is called “mouth-to-mouth,” and it’s performed on victims who aren’t breathing but have a pulse.

The chest compression part is only performed on the patient if they have no pulse but are most likely alive.

Do you want to be resuscitated? If not, create a DNR and store it in a PHR.

Health workers who learn this skill at a reliable health care center also learn how to use various essential machines to improve respiration and keep the airways open throughout the revival.

Some machines that assist with respiration include the Combitube, laryngoscope, oropharyngeal, and the King LT. These enable the health official to perform orotracheal intubation – inserting a flexible plastic tube into the trachea.

Automated External Defibrillator

The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is another method of resuscitation. Upon detecting life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias – irregular electrical activity in the heart, the Defibrillator will administer an electric shock to the patient who suffers from cardiac arrest. 

Contrary to movie scenes in Hollywood, the device will not produce any electrical output without detecting irregular electrical activities in the patient to avoid misuse. 

While this machine may seem dangerous and require professional handling, it’s the reverse. Manufacturers design some of these revival devices for use by persons with little to no medical training. These machines are popularly known as “fully automatic units.” 

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

Some individuals may request a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) document, instructing medical personnel not to revive them. These include using a defibrillator, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), or any invasive procedure.

While this order may seem strange to request, it’s a standard option for older adults who wish to die in peace without being revived artificially. One reason for a DNR is to avoid the dishonoring discomfort of dying after a prolonged series of attempted resuscitation.

Another reason for filling a DNR form is the pain of surviving death and ending up in a state worse than death. One can consider this document to be the best option for those who merely want to die and get over with the process instead of plugging into a life support machine.

Once a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) document has been signed, it cannot be reversed by anyone – not even the family members. The only individual that can nullify the form is a health care provider that the patient appointed.

If the health care provider assesses the situation and sees sufficient reason to revive the individual, the doctors follow suit. However, if none exists, the individual is left to die in peace.


In conclusion, irrespective of which method you use, resuscitation remains the process or action of reviving an individual from unconsciousness or apparent death. The individual may employ either Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Automated External Defibrillator, useful for different emergencies.

However, individuals – especially senior citizens – can request to be exempted from this revival process by using a DNR, enabling them to die according to their preference.