Performing CPR during Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

CPR in Pregnancy – How to Perform It on Pregnant Women

Misfortune can befall anyone at any time and the ones that are related to health can quickly get fatal. Acquiring the necessary help at the right time is as important as making sure that a person stays alive and breathing. CPR is a useful skill in that regard but there is a different way to administer that to a woman who is pregnant. Knowing how to give CPR to a pregnant woman requires knowledge of adjusting her position appropriately so as to protect her life without harming the baby inside her.

What Is CPR?

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a basic medical process that is administered to a person to keep their blood circulation up and attempt to restart the heart. It is a quick intervention that is used in cases of heart attacks or any other conditions that makes sure that blood keeps flowing to the vital organs of the body, and increase the chances of the victim’s survival until proper medical help is administered.

Is It Safe to Give CPR to a Pregnant Woman?

Yes, it is absolutely safe to give a pregnant woman CPR in time of her need, as long as it is given in the appropriate manner. The CPR can be administered by anyone and care should be taken to undertake it so as to keep the mother and the baby alive and safe.

Conditions That Can Cause the Need for CPR During Pregnancy

With the numerous changes that take place within a woman during pregnancy, there are certain scenarios that might deem it necessary to administer CPR on her.

1. Changes in the Cardiovascular System

In order to support the fledgeling child, the quantity of blood undergoes a substantial increase within the woman, but the red blood cell count stays the same. This can result in an anaemic condition within the woman. In order to keep up with the demand for oxygen from the red blood cells, the heart tends to work extra hard, increasing the heart rate and the output of blood, which could stress the body.

2. Changes in the Breathing Patterns

The demand for oxygen reaches its peak when a woman is pregnant since she needs to satisfy her own body requirements along with those of the growing baby. As the foetus develops over the months, these demands go on increasing, causing higher stress on the respiratory system. Furthermore, the diaphragm of the woman has lesser space to take in the area as the uterus grows, resulting in frequent rapid breathing and exhaustion.

3. Changes in the Gastrointestinal System

Morning sickness is just one of the problems faced by pregnant women. Constipation, constant acidity, and many others issues plague a woman internally. All these are a reason for muscle relaxation being a result of pregnancy, making it difficult to conduct intestinal movement as well as make it easier to throw up. These can lead to the acidic liquid being inhaled into the lungs and cause complications.

4. Changes in the Uterus

Some of the most massive changes that take place inside the body of a pregnant woman are all within the uterus. Taking into account the increasing size of the baby, the uterus begins to expand as well to house the foetus comfortably. This increment causes other organs present in the abdomen to shift around and be displaced from their usual positions. At times, these can result in a condition that can make administering CPR a necessity.


Why Is the CPR Process Different for Pregnant Patients?

Many might wonder how do you modify CPR for a pregnant woman and what might be the need to do so. The womb of the pregnant woman can make it difficult to give proper chest pumps. At the same time, care also needs to be taken to protect the uterus from any harm, by shifting it to the left of the woman.

Steps to Perform CPR on the Pregnant Victim

A CPR is beneficial to the victim only when it is performed the right way, adhering to the steps as close as possible.

  1. Before rushing with the CPR, shout and look for any help you might get from other people. Keep talking to the woman and let her stay conscious while calling an ambulance as well.
  1. Gently roll the woman to have her lying on her left side, slightly leaning at 45 degrees or so. Check if she is injured in any way.
  1. Use a jacket or blankets or anything else to support her back. Make sure the baby’s weight does not fully rest on the back.
  1. Check for the woman’s breathing and see if it is regularly. Observe the rising and falling of her chest, check her nose and mouth for airflow and monitor her pulse.
  1. Place both palms one over the other in the region between her breasts. Push down gently about 30 times for a duration of 30 seconds.
  1. Follow it by holding the nose shut with your fingers, and breathing into the mouth of the woman twice.
  1. Repeat the compressions of the chest and follow them with breath pumps again. Keep doing that until the ambulance arrives.
  1. If you know the woman well, inform the hospital personnel about the pregnancy and any other information that you might know about her.

Precautionary Warning

CPR should be administered only after you have received proper training and certification in doing so. Giving CPR in an incorrect manner could further increase the fatality level for the victim.

CPR can be beneficial for the victim when given by the right person in an appropriate manner. When administering CPR during pregnancy, guidelines specific for a pregnant woman need to be followed, which will ensure the continued safety and pregnancy of the woman after medical attention.

Also Read:

What Causes Shortness of Breath in Pregnancy
Safe Breathing Exercises for Pregnant Lady

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