A human brain cannot live without oxygen. Should trauma induce heart failure, it is imperative that blood continue to flow to keep the brain alive. Obviously, this does not apply to injuries induced by zombies, or the Solanum transformation. If flu-like symptoms preceded unconsciousness, it is likely that the person is actually transforming into a zombie and bodily contact should be avoided at all costs. Otherwise, your goal is to ensure the blood keeps circulating, and the heart keeps receiving stimulation for 10–20 minutes after it stops. With luck, the heart may "push back" from a compression, find its rhythm, and resume beating normally.
However, zombies are not the only hazard in the post apocalypse. The world will have gotten more dangerous, and hospitals will not be an option. Aside from trauma through psychological shock and blood loss, people also bring their pre-existing medical conditions into the safe house with them. Knowing how to jump start a heart can save a life.
Step 1: A is for AwakeEdit
Remain calm. You do have some time. Talk to the victim. Try to keep him awake. Check the pulse with your index and middle finger. The jugular vein or carotid artery (both located on the sides of the neck) are good, but the best place is on the wrist, and an inch below the victim's thumb. If this feels substantially slower or weaker than yours, or if you can't find it, try putting your ear to their heart. Finding any sort of a pulse gives you a baseline for your progress.
Step 2: B is for BreathingEdit
If the victim is unconscious and not breathing (and you are fairly certain he is not in the process of a zombie transformation, open his mouth, prop his head back, and visually check for anything blocking his airway. If there is, you may have to retrieve it with whatever is around. This should not be attempted for too long, as studies show that the body has enough oxygenated blood to last a few more minutes, and that is the priority. Also, the chest compressions may dislodge the object.
For information on mouth-to-mouth resusicitation, see below.
Step 3: C is for CompressionsEdit
Spread the victims arms out at about a 90 degree angle from his body. He should form a "T" shape. Kneel to one side of the victim, and press your palms down into the chest of the victim. Hands should be pressed one over the other, as shown in the picture above. Using your midsection - not your arm strength alone - thrust the weight of your upper body in controlled jerks repeatedly.
|Technique||Both hands||One hand||Two fingers|
- Adult technique: top hand pulls bottom hand's fingers back while also applying pressure.
- Compressions should be sharp, hard and about one per second, or slightly faster.
- Hand/finger placement is just below the nipple line and above the bottom of the breast bone, just slightly to the (victim's) left.
- Obviously, for smaller children, one shouldn't thrust their entire weight, but they should be hard enough where the baby would cry in pain if it were conscious.
- Keep count of your compressions. After a round of 30 or so (consult above chart), do another quick check for the pulse, or have your partner do it, since his breathing is likely to be calmer than yours, making it easier to sense a pulse.
Continue CPR until the victim moves or takes a breath. This can be an exhausting exercise, so having a partner take over after a few minutes is highly recommend. Fracturing the ribs or sternum with compressions can actually improve the victim's chances of survival. Many experienced paramedics can actually do it fairly safely and consistently.
While older schools of training dictate that rounds of compressions should be broken up by pinching the nose of the victim, and blowing forcefully into the mouth, as of 2009, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is actually beginning to fall out of favor with the medical community. Studies show that it is the circulation of blood that is the key factor, and the re-oxygenization of blood in the lungs is peripheral. A notable exception, of course, is drowning, or asphyxiation, where the lungs may need to be cleared of their harmful contents. Spewing up the contents of either lungs or stomach is very common when giving mouth-to-mouth. Because of this, and the chance for zombie infection, this is left up to the discretion of the CPR administrator.
When to stopEdit
In modern times, CPR is successful only around 10% of the time, as more extensive medical treatment is usually necessary, and even then, sometimes injuries or illnesses are just too severe to recover from. The brain begins to perish after about 10 minutes without oxygen of any kind. Because the compressions do circulate some blood and buy time, a good rule of thumb might be to continue CPR for about 15–20 minutes after loss of consciousness.