When Do You Use An Abdominal Thrust?
When someone is choking, it is important to immediately help them dislodge the object in the airway. The longer that the object stays lodged in the airway, the more precarious the situation becomes. A lifesaving measure used in these situations is the abdominal thrust which can be used to dislodge the object restore normal breathing.
So what exactly is an abdominal thrust? Abdominal thrusts are a life-saving technique that both bystanders and first responders can use to treat choking victims. An abdominal thrust allows a rescuer to administer a quick but strong thrust to a choking victim’s abdomen to help force the object out of the airway.
What is An Abdominal thrust?
Abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver, are a first-aid technique used to treat conscious choking victims in which the rescuer administers thrusts to a patient’s upper abdominal region. This skill is commonly taught during basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) classes, but it never receives as much attention as chest compressions and rescue breaths do.
The abdominal thrust maneuver can be performed in both children and adults via different techniques. The thrusting motion pushes air from the lungs in an upward motions through the throat to dislodge foreign objects and treat upper airway obstructions.
Abdominal thrusts are relatively simple to perform and don’t require any equipment or extensive training. Once you learn the proper technique and abdominal thrust hand placement, anyone can perform them. They’re a quick and accessible way to help a choking victim.
Although there are no absolute contraindications, the abdominal thrust maneuver is not recommended by the AHA for infants or unconscious patients. Also, pregnant subjects should receive management with sternal compressions, as opposed to abdominal.
How To Perform Abdominal thrusts
So how do you perform an abdominal thrust?
To give an abdominal thrust, you should follow the steps below:
ABDOMINAL Thrust FAQ's
When should you not use the abdominal thrust?
The abdominal thrust maneuver should not be performed on unconscious patients (who should receive chest compressions) or infants (who should receive backslaps).
Does an abdominal thrust hurt?
Abdominal thrusts can be painful, but that doesn’t mean you should hesitate to deliver them if a patient is choking. The most commonly reported complications are rib fractures and gastric or esophageal perforations.
Was the Heimlich maneuver replaced with the abdominal thrust?
Yes. The Heimlich maneuver was replaced by abdominal thrusts in the 2006 guidelines by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.
How can a rescuer tell the difference between mild airway obstruction and severe airway obstruction?
The rescuer should ask, “Are you choking?” If the victim nods yes, assistance is needed. Choking also often is indicated by the Universal Distress Signal (hands clutching the throat).
Learn CPR With Help-A-Heart CPR
Would you like to learn more about abdominal thrusts and other topics related to CPR and First Aid? Take a moment to view our training class schedule where you can also register directly for a CPR or First Aid course with Help-A-Heart CPR!
To find out more, contact us today through our online contact form or give us a call at (210) 380-5344.
How To Pass The ACLS Provider Exam!
Are you a healthcare provider and preparing to take the American Heart Association (AHA) ACLS Provider course? if you are enrolled in the AHA ACLS class, you might also be wondering how difficult the ACLS Provider Exam is? Our goal here at Help-A-Heart CPR is to help our student's be successful and achieve their various milestones. That's why we created this blog post to guide you along the way.
What IS acls?
The American Heart Association's Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (AHA ACLS) course has been created for healthcare providers who either directly or indirectly participate in the resuscitation of a patient, whether in or out of hospital. The ACLS course will allow providers to enhance their skills in the treatment of the adult victim of a cardiac arrest or other cardiopulmonary emergencies. ACLS also emphasizes the importance of basic life support to patient survival; the integration of effective basic life support with advanced cardiovascular life support interventions; and the importance of effective team interaction and communication during resuscitation.
ACLS Exam Preparation Hints
When you take the AHA ACLS certification course, throughout the course, the instructor will review the information that you need to pass the exam. However, we have provided a few tools and tips below to optimize your learning success.
A. Review the ECG Rhythms.
A review of the ECG rhythms is critical to success in the ACLS course. Often times, students struggle with ECG rhythm recognition during ACLS. So, if you feel that your knowledge of EGG rhythms is a bit lacking; you may to rake a ECG refresher course prior to taking the ACLS course and exam.
If you have additional experience in telemetry and ECG, this might help take a bit of pressure off when you’re going through the ACLS class. However, a review of ECG rhythms is often recommended for everyone. ECG rhythms can sometimes be a little overwhelming, so reviewing the basic rhythms and their corresponding pharmacology will just increase your confidence and your ability to be successful on the ACLS Provider exam.
B. Study the AHA ACLS Algorithms.
One of the most important things to memorize for the exam is the AHA 2020 ACLS algorithms. It is beneficial to memorize all of these algorithms so that you pass the exam with flying colors. The AHA ACLS algorithms are available in the required AHA 2020 ACLS provider manual so purchase the book prior to the class and review extensively.
The AHA 2020 ACLS algorithms are as follows:
Acute Coronary Syndrome Algorithm
Adult BLS Algorithm
Adult Bradycardia Algorithm
Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm
Adult Suspected Stroke Algorithm
Adult Tachycardia Algorithm
Intermediate Post-Cardiac Arrest Care Algorithm
Opioid-Associated Life-Threatening Emergency Algorithm
Unstable Tachycardia Algorithm
C. Memorize Medications and Doses
The AHA ACLS exam will also assess your knowledge and understanding of ACLS medications and dosages. In order to memorize these prior to your exam, you might want to try writing out flashcards, creating mnemonic devices, or using online quiz games.
The following are the ACLS medications you might need to know:
D. Take The American Heart Association Pre-Course Self Assessment.
The AHA ACLS pre-course self-assessment is an assessment tool with 50 questions that can be taken prior to the actual class. This self-assessment will serve as a tool to gauge your own knowledge of BLS, pharmacology, ECG rhythms, airway management, and the related AHA ACLS algorithms. The AHA ACLS pre-course self-assessment can be accessed here.
Learn ACLS Online With Help-A-Heart CPR
Are you now ready to take the ACLS exam? Getting an AHA ACLS certification has never been easier than with the ACLS online course. We offer a hybrid class in which you can take a self-paced series of online training modules. Then, just head to our training center for a brief skills practice. It’s a great way to fit training into your busy schedule as a healthcare professional and learn from the comfort of home.
If you’d prefer to learn in-person, we also offer traditional classroom courses. We have multiple convenient locations in Texas and a variety of course times to meet your training needs.
We’re here to help you get certified, so feel free to reach out. Contact us via our online form or give us a call at (210) 380-5344.
Is CPR Needed For Respiratory Arrest?
So you've determined that a patient or victim is unconscious but they have a heart rate and they are breathing on their own. How do you know if it is cardiac arrest of respiratory arrest?
Respiratory arrest is a life-threatening situation in which immediate intervention is needed. However time is critical so it is essential to understand the type of arrest the patient is experiencing and begin treatment as soon as possible. Let's look at what respiratory arrest is and causes and possible treatment. Additionally, an early assessment and recognition intervention is important. Further, knowledge and participation of CPR/AED/First Aid training will equip you with the answers to these questions.
What is Respiratory Arrest?
Respiratory arrest occurs when a patient has stopped breathing. During respiratory arrest, the body is no longer getting oxygen to the brain, heart, and other vital organs. Cardiac arrest almost always follows unless respiratory function is rapidly restored. Occasionally, the patient will have already been experiencing respiratory distress that has gone unidentified or untreated, ultimately developing into respiratory arrest.
What Causes respiratory Arrest?
A patient may experience respiratory arrest when the nerves and muscles cannot support respiration. There are many potential causes of this, including:
2. Head, chest or other major injury
3. Drug overdose
5. Neuromuscular diseases such as ALS
What Is The Difference Between respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest?
Sometimes, respiratory arrest can lead to cardiac arrest, and other times the two can occur at the same time. In both respiratory and cardiac arrest, the patient will be unconscious and will not be breathing. However, the difference between cardiac and respiratory arrest is that in cases of respiratory arrest, the patient will have a detectable pulse as the heart is still functioning and pumping blood throughout the body.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is when a patient is experiencing an electrical disturbance in the heart, which will interrupt the heart’s rhythm and potentially halt heart function, breathing, and consciousness. Blood flow will stop, and so during sudden cardiac arrest, the patient will not have a strong pulse.
How Do You Treat A person in Respiratory arrest?
The first responder should assess the emergency and begin an intervention once respiratory arrest is identified. Treatment should focu on supporting the patient while the lungs heal. The goal of supportive care is getting enough oxygen into the blood and delivered to your body to prevent damage and removing the injury that caused Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) to develop. Instead of administering CPR, you’ll want to follow basic life support (BLS) practices.
The following are some of the steps that can be taken to help manage respiratory arrest:
1. Open the airway
2. Apply bag-mask ventilation
3. Prepare for an advanced airway
4. Use the head tilt/chin lift maneuver if there is no cervical spine injury
5. Use the jaw thrust maneuver if there is a potential injury to the cervical spine
6. Check that you are providing sufficient oxygenation
7. Avoid over-ventilation
8. Monitor the pulse for any signs of cardiac arrest
Get your BLS Certification With Help-A-Heart CPR!
Any healthcare professional or laymen rescuer who might encounter a cardiovascular emergency at home or at their place of employment should participate in a BLS Provider certification with Help-A-Heart CPR. The expert team here at Help-A-Heart CPR can help answer any questions you may have––because we’ve been out on the field treating respiratory arrest and more as EMTs, paramedics, and nurses ourselves.
Key CPR Numbers and Ratios!
There are a few important numbers to remember when learning CPR. From the rescue breathing rate for infants and children to the CPR compression rate for adults, it’s important to know and understand the correct parameters.
There are a few key statistics on CPR ratio and CPR rate for adults, children, and infants that we will highlight. These numbers are based on the latest research from the American Heart Association (AHA) as of November 2021.
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is the CEO of Help-A-Heart CPR, LLC and an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.