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Administering Medications Prior to CPR and AED

February 20th, 2014 | Posted by finzy in How to be Prepared

One of the most important things that rescuers need to consider before administering CPR and AED is if the patient is carrying heart medications at the time of the heart problem or stroke. This is because the priority of rescuers is to administer these medications before proceeding with CPR and other life-saving techniques. Here are some of the guidelines when it comes to administering these medications before proceeding with CPR and AED.

Do not prescribe medications

Medication for Allergic Reactions

Medication for Allergic Reactions

Morphine is considered by many healthcare professionals as the most effective drug of choice for heart problems or stroke since it can lower blood pressure, reduce the need for oxygen and lessen chest pains. However, it is also notorious for causing hypotension in which the blood pressure drops to a critical level which can lead to death especially if it is taken with nitroglycerin or if nitroglycerin is taken thirty minutes before morphine is given. This is why it is not recommended for rescuers to prescribe and administer morphine even if it is already at hand unless a physician gives the green light and the blood pressure of the patient can be monitored consistently. Otherwise, rescuers should exhaust all non-pharmacological ways to help the patient without administering this medication. It should not be given to patients who have taken Plavix as well.

Look for nitroglycerin

If the patient is wearing a nitroglycerin necklace or tag but the container is empty, rescuers should try to obtain nitroglycerin from other sources such as bystanders who have the medication at hand. Nitroglycerin usually comes in a tablet form which should be given sublingually. This means that the patient should be instructed to keep the medication under his or her tongue until it is fully dissolved. It is important for rescuers to ensure that the medication is taken properly since a heart emergency or problem can make the patient less coherent which would make him or her more susceptible to taking the medicine the wrong way. If a nitroglycerin patch is already on the skin, rescuers should peel it off and clean the area properly before using an AED.

Check for aspirin allergy

Aside from nitroglycerin, aspirin is another medication that rescuers can give to patients who are suffering from a heart attack. For faster absorption, rescuers should instruct the patient to chew the tablets before swallowing. However, rescuers should first ask the patients or the guardians if the patient is allergic to aspirin since allergic reactions to aspirin is normally fatal.

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