During a cardiac arrest, there are a lot of things that can happen to a patient. This is an effect of the sudden loss of heart function as well as loss of consciousness. This leads to a lot of accidents on top of the cardiac arrest itself. It is important that people who are experiencing warning signs for cardiac arrest be wary of the possible consequences so as not to endanger others as well.
Keeping Close Company
One of the most important thing that a person who might be susceptible to sudden cardiac arrest should do is to keep company. Being close to people can be helpful if the most unfortunate event – sudden cardiac arrest – occurs. With people around, many can help call emergency services, as well as perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use an automatic external defibrillator on the patient. This is why people should learn CPR and establishments should have an updated AED. Saving the life of an individual is always worth every penny and effort given.
One of the things that people who might experience sudden cardiac arrest is to operate heavy machinery. Driving a car can be counted as operating heavy machinery, and if the unfortunate happens, the car may be speeding down the freeway when cardiac arrest occurs, affecting others as well and making revival complicated. When deemed susceptible, it is best to have someone else manage the driving while the individual rests.
Avoid High Places
Another thing that susceptible SCA patients should avoid is going up high places such as stairs, ladders. It is better to be safe and fall unconscious onto a flat surface rather than fall from a high place. Although going through these places may be inevitable, it is always best to be surrounded with people who can assist you even while unconscious.
Avoid Being Along with Incapable Individuals
Finally, a person who is susceptible to SCA should not volunteer to look after other people’s pets or children. This is because there may be a chance that it happens during the duty and what is left behind may be affected without others supervising. It is always best to be careful when it comes to these situations and inform the people asking you to take care of their pets or children of your condition.
From all these, the most important thing that a person susceptible to SCA should do is to keep surrounded and tell others immediately of the condition. This is so that the people keeping company can be prepared for whatever may happen to the person. It is the duty of the individual susceptible to SCA to inform others. The other people then has a civic duty to know CPR and be able to locate and use the CPR as well as contacting emergency services. Although this may be counted as being overprotective, nothing is too much when it comes to the life of a human being. With more and more people succumbing to sudden cardiac arrest as reflected by recent statistics by the American Heart Association, just attending a CPR certification training, even without anyone within your circle susceptible to sudden cardiac arrest, can greatly help someone in need.
Time is the biggest factor when it comes to helping a cardiac arrest patient. Every year, there are more than a quarter million people that die from sudden cardiac arrest in the country. This means that cardiac arrest kills a person every two minutes, an alarming rate compared to other major diseases such as cancer. This is why a lot of information is circulated so that citizens can further understand what sudden cardiac arrest is, its symptoms, and ways to respond in the event of sudden cardiac arrest within proximity.
What is Cardiac Arrest?
Cardiac arrest is the sudden cessation of function of the heart muscles due to electric signals in the hear malfunctioning. The signals in disarray cause irregular heartbeats, which can turn deadly if ignored. Cardiac arrest can claim the life of an individual within 10 minutes if not provided with proper first aid and advanced life support. This is because as soon as the heart stops pumping blood, the cells who require the oxygen delivered by blood start to enter a state of non-function, which spells death for the individual.
What are the Symptoms?
Cardiac arrest can happen without any symptoms, but if symptoms show up, it can be mistaken for other, lighter problems. One of the most common symptoms is chest pain that persists. It may be a small dull pain but it can last for days. Sudden cardiac arrest can also be accompanied by general physical weakness. Shortness of breath is also one symptom, as it Other victims report experiencing a looming sense of dread before they feel suddenly under cardiac arrest. The time that symptoms appear can be as little as minutes or even days before sudden cardiac arrest occurs.
With the vague symptoms that may be ignored by some, it is understandable how sudden cardiac arrest can claim so many lives. If you experience these symptoms, think back to your lifestyle, if anything can cause weakened heart muscles. Those who have suffered a heart attack are at a higher risk for sudden cardiac arrest as the heart muscles have already been weakened.
How to Respond to SCA Victims?
When witnessing sudden cardiac arrest happening within proximity, there are certain procedures to follow to increase the chances of helping the victim. The most important thing is to call 9-1-1 immediately, as emergency services will be able to help calm down the responder if untrained. Calling emergency services can provide a responder with information on how to perform CPR and use an AED if one is available nearby.
Time is very important when responding. The brain will die within four minutes of sudden cardiac arrest due to the lack of oxygen supply that should be delivered by the blood. If there is a responder that can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, then the brain can be saved, as well as the patient. CPR does not always guarantee the survival of the person, and the same goes with using an automatic external defibrillator, but every action taken can potentially save the life of someone.
There is a medical equipment which is quite known for its use in shows and video games called a defibrillator. The defibrillator is known as a large piece of equipment that is wheeled into a room of a patient undergoing cardiac arrest. It is then used to shock the patient to restore the regular rhythm of a patient’s heartbeat.
Cardiac arrest is the illness which claims lives of almost 400,000 lives every year and rising. This is one of the most serious causes of death, which can sometimes go undetected, until it is too late. There are a lot of ways in which cardiac arrest causes death, but the most common is the lack of oxygen in the brain. When cardiac arrest happens, there is a very small leeway before things turn for the worse. Only four minutes without oxygen supply to the brain can cause the victim to enter a vegetative state, and further lack of first aid in under 10 minutes can cause irreversible death. A calm mind is important in dealing with the possibility of someone experiencing cardiac arrest near you. By reacting immediately and providing necessary revival techniques while keeping the time requirement in mind, 4 minutes will be enough time to support the victim, until life support arrives. Every second is critical, so act while thinking fast.
Some of the most plausible treatments that a bystander can do for those suffering from sudden cardiac arrest within 10 minutes is CPR and using an AED. CPR is the shortened form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This is a famous maneuver that is done by someone to a victim through the use of chest compressions, and optional mouth resuscitation. Chest compressions are done so that the heart is squeezed and blood continues to flow. Mouth resuscitation supplies the lungs with oxygen that the blood can carry around.
The AED, or the automatic external defibrillator, is the smaller and more portable version of the famous defibrillator. This equipment is mostly seen in movies and TV shows as a plot device that can help people be revived easily. This is not true however, as AED has an average success rate in revival. This is only meant to tide over the person until advanced life support arrives. These actions taken quickly can eventually save the life of a sudden cardiac arrest victim.
This are the two quickest treatments that can be done by bystanders that have not been trained. For those interested in training for administering CPR or using an AED, there are a lot of training centers that will gladly accommodate. Being trained not only increases the chances of success in reviving a sudden cardiac arrest victim, it is also a great badge to signify love for humanity and your dedication to fulfilling your civic duty of helping any and all humans that need helping. Being ready for emergency situations can just save the life of someone, so training for it is a necessary good. Any and all actions taken to help someone must be inherently good and humane.
CPR certification is easy to get. Some companies require CPR certification, while others allow their employees to get CPR certified themselves. With the availability of CPR courses nationwide, everyone should get trained and certified now.
One of the main reasons why CPR certification should be gotten is the benefits that it brings. We all know that most people would only get something if there is something for themselves. With a CPR certification in your resume, employers are more likely to hire you. This can be a big boost in your resume, especially if you are entering an industry where you will be exposed to a lot of people – such as being in the medical industry, driving, or any outside work, having CPR certification can be a big help.
Another reason is the occurrence of CPR inside a house being more frequent. Even if you or your immediate family members look healthy enough and not candidate for cardiac arrest, it does not mean that you are completely immune from the problem. With CPR certification and training to back you up, even if the unfortunate event of sudden cardiac arrest happens, there is a great chance of revival of the victim within your home. This reasons is to help and save your family members.
One more reason to do it is the sheer usefulness of the skill. It is one of the most important actions to do for someone who has lost consciousness. Administering CPR is sometimes the line between life and death for some situations. There are fewer instances of bystanders administering CPR and this may be because of the lack of training. With more trained people out and about, there will be more instances of bystander CPR and an increase in the survival rate of victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
Training for CPR certification is also easier, and offers flexibility for participants. There may be some participants who would be hesitating because of the requirement for mouth to mouth resuscitation when doing the real thing, but by attending to a training, participants would come to know that the guidelines have changed and that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is no longer a requirement. This is just one of the many things that a participant can learn upon entering a course and training for certification in the administration of CPR.
CPR saves lives, and that is a fact that everyone knows. As a final reason for getting CPR certified, participants should just think if they want to be of help to others, in the best way possible. What more can top the gift of a second chance in life? With cardiac arrests as one of the most common killers in the country, it is important that we arm ourselves with the knowledge not only to help ourselves or our family, but strangers that we meet as well. Who knows, maybe someday, that CPR certification that you just got may be the one that can connect you to others, or it can just save someone’s life.
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is one of the basic first aid practices. Knowing how to properly administer a CPR can be the difference between having a patient survive or die. This is why it is important that everyone know, at least, the basic principles of CPR.
There are certain guidelines that the American Heart Association (AHA) have crafted to further increase the survival rate of cardiac arrest victims. Several studies and research have been conducted in efforts to improve CPR as we know it.
CPR, in general, has more chances to be successful when administered as quickly as possible. How do you know if a person needs CPR? If the person involved shows no signs of life or is unconscious, unresponsive, has irregular breathing or is not breathing at all; this person needs CPR.
Once the need for CPR is recognized, then the rescuer must proceed with the compressions immediately. Looking for pulse can be unfruitful since there are times when pulse can be impossible to find and there are conditions when the person is alive but has no pulse activity. It is safer to cancel looking for the pulse in the beginning and assume that CPR is needed anyway. While administering CPR, have someone call an ambulance so help arrives as soon as possible.
The AHA have vigorously promoted the use of hands-only CPR. One of the reasons why bystanders choose to do nothing in the face of cardiac arrest scenario is that they are afraid to get CPR wrong. By simplifying the whole process and focusing CPR on the importance of compressions, they are hoping to encourage more people to act. Hands-only CPR allows for more rescue time as studies show that giving two full breaths can delay compressions for as much as 16 seconds. In place of breathing, high quality compressions are encouraged. AHA emphasizes that any attempt at CPR is so much better than no action at all.
When doing hands-only CPR, you have to place the heel of one hand on the chest while the other hand rests on top of that. You can either grasp your wrist or interlock your fingers, there is no specific way of doing so as long as you are comfortable with it and can pump forcefully on it. Perform compressions with depth of at most 2 inches. To ensure that you get to perform 100 compressions per minute, you can think of the music “Staying alive” by the Bee Gees to get the proper rhythm. Due to the force required to provide quality compressions, there are instances when the patient will have their ribs broken or fractured. If this happens, reposition your hands and continue compressions. Ribs broken can be a better alternative than not getting CPR at all.
CPR should be continued either until professional help arrives or an AED is brought to the scene. Until the AED is turned on and the pads are attached to the victim’s chest, CPR must still be administered. This is how CPR and AED functions hand-in-hand in saving cardiac arrest victims.
Taking CPR course may not exactly be on top of your list; however, the difference of knowing how to administer CPR cannot be denied. Numerous states in the country are already governed with Good Samaritan laws, and hopefully soon, more states will join the movement. This is a clear testament of the significance of bystanders performing CPR on cardiac arrest victims. This bystander can be you.
It is important therefore that everyone knows how to proceed in situations that involve cardiac arrest. Knowing how to recognize a cardiac arrest victim can be vital. One of the things that the general public must understand is cardiac arrest do not just happen in a normal setup. Cardiac arrest can happen on trauma victims that have been involved in an accident.
If you see a patient that is lying unconscious and has visible up to no signs of breathing, assume that CPR is needed right away. First and foremost, take a quick look on your surroundings and check for dangers. Most of the time, the surroundings of the victim can say a lot on the possible situations that the patient has been in. If the area seems to pose no threat either to the rescuer or the victim, then administer CPR right away.
The longer time that a victim fails to receive CPR compression, the lesser the chances of survival he or she has. This is one reason why AHA encourage more people to know how to administer CPR in case of a sudden cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, the death rate for cardiac arrest remains to be significant. Thus, everyone is encouraged to take training and courses for CPR.
For bystanders, hands-only CPR is highly encouraged. This is an attempt to address the uncertainties of bystanders to perform CPR. Apparently, some people are afraid to perform CPR due to fear of getting it wrong and also of reluctance to perform breathing on the mouth. By focusing on the compression, bystanders can be encouraged to take action and perform CPR until professional help arrives.
Aside from CPR, another first aid device that can help improve the chances of survival in cardiac arrest victims is AED. This is an electronic device that pumps electric currents to help bring back the irregular beat of the heart back to its normal rhythm. AED is now being placed in several public places due to the possibility of cardiac arrest occurring anytime. It is a good thing that AED can easily be used by anyone, even those who have only seen it from afar. Thanks to the digitized instruction as well as the relatively easy-to-use features of the device. However, contrary to the popular belief that AED can magically restart a stopped heart, AEDs can only work when there is even the faintest beating on the victim’s heart. This is how CPR and AED works together, only CPR can help ‘continue’ or at least mimic beating of the heart to supply blood flow to vital organs as well as ensure that the AED can have a beat to work with.
First aid practices should be taught to individuals. It may not be on top of training courses that most people take up, but it cannot be denied that knowing how to administer one makes a big difference. One of the many causes of death during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is the failure to administer CPR right away.
The American Heart Association through various scientific works have made significant contributions to further improve CPR. In the 2010 version of AHA’s guidelines for CPR, there have been several changes to further encourage bystanders to perform CPR.
For almost 50 years, the ABC approach has been widely upheld. ABC stands for Airway-Breathing-Compression, this focuses on the importance of providing respiration to the cardiac arrest victim. However, studies have shown that giving out two full breaths to the affected patient delays the blood flow for almost 20 seconds, significantly reducing the victim’s survival rate. With the newest guidelines, the ABC approach has been revised to CAB approach. This stands for Compression-Airway-Breathing, that focuses on supplying the vital organs with the much-needed oxygenated blood. Through this, the AHA aims to encourage more bystanders, even those who do not have training on CPR to administer the first aid compressions when needed.
True enough, hands-only CPR do not need a significant amount of expertise to do. It follows the same procedure that begins with recognition or assessment. In this stage, the rescuer must check for signs to see if a patient is in need of CPR. In the latest guidelines, the rescuer must not take too much time with checking if the patient has no pulse or is not breathing. Instead, briefly check for his or her breathing and then proceed with CPR right away. In fact, checking for pulse should not last longer than 10 seconds, as the delay of blood flow plays a crucial role on the chances of survival of the victim. If you see that the victim is gasping or is having a hard time breathing, consider the patient a cardiac arrest victim.
It is vital that personnel as well as training programs have a choreographed and systemized way of administering CPR. With the CAB approach in mind, the rescuer must compress with a depth of at least 2 inches or 5 cm. It is important to remember that the rescuer must let the chest completely recoil before starting on another cycle of compression. After 30 sets of compression, proceed with giving two full breaths on the victim, then return to giving compressions. The rescuer must be able to give at least 100 compressions within a minute. Due to the strength that giving CPR requires, the task can be exhausting and this is why having two rescuers replace each other from time to time is highly encouraged. This is to ensure that the cardiac arrest victim receives high quality compressions while minimizing the amount of delays that can only hinder the success rate of CPR itself.
Until professional help arrives, CPR must be continued to ensure that the vital organs of the victim are sufficiently supplied with the much needed blood. CPR saves lives indeed, and giving out CPR even with just compression is better than not giving compression at all.
One of the leading causes of death in the world is sudden cardiac arrest. This medical condition can happen to anyone at any time, no matter the place. This is one reason why more and more efforts are being done by organizations to promote awareness on this matter. Knowledge on basic first aid as well as the proper use of equipment available can be the difference between life and death.
Cardiac arrest causes the heart to beat erratically, a rhythm that the heart cannot keep up with. After a while, the heart stops pumping blood, rendering the victim unconscious. By keeping this in mind, the public would know the symptoms of a cardiac arrest victim: unconscious, irregular breathing and pulseless. Some people tend to check for pulse, but in general, it is safe to assume that you cannot find one since there are cases in which a cardiac arrest patient can have no pulse. Once you see an unconscious victim with difficulty in breathing, assume the need for CPR right away.
There is a reason why training courses incorporate lessons on CPR and AED with each other. Without an AED present, CPR can help buy the victim some more time while professional help arrives. By doing CPR, the vital organs can still receive at least the minimum requirement of oxygenated blood. The longer the patient is deprived of CPR, the lesser the chances he or she has for survival. In fact, even if he or she survives, the brain damage can be significant due to the lack of blood at the time of the arrest. CPR is the first aid procedure, just like how putting antiseptic to the wound helps prevent infection; however, only an AED can help restore the heart’s normal rhythm.
This is where the knowledge of how cardiac arrest occurs in the first place can be handy. Perhaps, you have seen it on TV, the doctors yelling “Clear!” and then a shock will run through the pads to the victim’s body. This is no longer just a hospital scene. It is important to understand that AEDs should have a rhythm to restore in the first place. It cannot magically revive a patient with a straight line. By giving just enough amount of electricity, the heart can have its normal rhythm back.
Fortunately, using an AED is much simpler than it used to be operated before. Now, even people who have minimal training on how to use it can properly administer a shock. The instructions are being given out by the machine of the portable AED and the rescuer just have to closely follow them. Administering shock right away can possibly save a life and significantly reduce the chances of suffering from permanent damage to the brain and other vital organs.
If only the general public are well-aware of how deadly a cardiac arrest is and how real it is, people would pay more attention to learning CPR and AED. It is one thing when a complete stranger suffers from cardiac arrest but another matter entirely when it is one of yours. It is never too late to start learning CPR and how to use AED for it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Sudden cardiac arrest remains on the list causes of death that disregards age. Although it is very rare, cardiac arrest on children is still occurring. This is why it is important that everyone know what happens in the heart during a cardiac arrest.
Cardiac Arrest Explained
The heart is an undeniably vital organ of the body. It is responsible for pumping blood all throughout the body. Since the beginning, the heart pumps blood and it will continue to do so until a person is clinically dead. What can be the cause of it prematurely failing?
What allows the heart to beat in the first place are the pacemaker cells in the upper chamber, also known as the atrium, of the heart. These pacemakers give out just the right amount of jolts in the heart to produce a regular beat. This very process keeps the heart beating and can be disrupted in many ways. A trauma or a sudden disturbance to this process can prevent the pacemakers to do its job. These cells that give out sparks will be immediately replaced by other cells in a hasty attempt to make the heart resume its beating. What happens next is a chaotic phenomenon of multiple cells jolting the heart in all places—both appropriate and not—that can cause erratic beating. This is the onset of a cardiac arrest. Soon, the heart muscle will not be able to provide the vital organs, including itself, with oxygenated blood that they need to function. If this is prolonged, it can either cause serious vital organ damage and even death.
Cardiac Arrest on Children
It is saddening to know that cardiac arrest knows no age when it strikes. Cardiac arrest happens in kids just as well, but with different causes. Most of the time, those who are affected have inherited heart conditions that increases the chances of a sudden cardiac arrest.
Children who are born with thick ventricle walls can experience chest pains during exercise. Due to the thicker walls, the pumping chamber of the heart is allowed lesser space. In turn, to properly supply the body with the much-needed blood, the heart has to work extra hard. The heart that works double pace during regular activities has to step up its plate during exercise. Decrease in blood flow can cause irritation to the heart muscle and start a cardiac arrest.
Another hereditary heart condition on children is the misplaced coronary arteries. What is supposed to lie on the surface of the heart, is situated right into the muscle of the heart. In this condition, these arteries can be blocked when the heart muscle squeezes extra hard due to a physically-demanding activity such as exercise.
It is a matter of importance therefore that children undergo all the necessary tests to identify possible hereditary conditions. Also, pre-screening for athletic activities are highly encouraged to prevent sudden cardiac arrest from occurring.
Since there is still no way of knowing when a cardiac arrest can happen, it is vital that knowledge of CPR and AED is acquired by the general public. It is never too late to know how to administer these first aid practices.
Accidents do happen and no matter how far-fetched the idea is; they simply can strike at any moment. Besides, accidents are not just man-made, it can also be a natural-occurring phenomenon that can pose threats to the lives of the people who are experiencing it.
Since there are only limited ways in gauging when accidents can occur, it is important to know the basic first aid practices that can save a person’s life. In general, the principle of first aid procedures follow the DRSABCD steps. DRSABCD stands for danger, response, send for help, airway, breathing, CPR and defibrillator. This approach helps increase the chances of survival of the patient as well as ensure the safety of the rescuers.
When arriving into the scene, the first step to do is to identify possible dangers within the area. If the accident area includes a car-crash situation that is yet to be managed. Quickly yet carefully move the victim in a much safer area. The safety of the victim, bystanders including the rescuer is always a priority.
Once safety is ensured check if the victim is conscious or aware. If the victim is not responsive to questions or even touch, the rescuers must get ready to administer the necessary first aid procedure. It is important that someone call for help while the victim is being assessed. This way, the waiting period for professional help would be cut shorter.
As part of the assessment, the rescuer must check if the victim is breathing or not. If the rescuer sees chest movement but there is a blockage on the airway of the victim, it should be cleared right away. Also, if the victim is breathing but is unconscious, turn him or her to the side while making sure that his or her head, neck and spine are aligned. Monitor the victim’s breathing until he or she is turned over to a medical personnel.
If the victim is unconscious and shows no signs of breathing as well, the rescuer must assume the need for CPR. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is the series of compressions over the victim’s chest to manually keep the blood flowing. Due to its importance, the American Heart Association encourages the general public to learn how to administer CPR, even the hands-only CPR method to decrease the death rate for sudden cardiac arrest. The rescuer must give out 100 compressions in a minute with at least 2 inches’ depth. This rate and depth is approved by the AHA so as to provide quality compressions to effectively supply the vital organs with blood until professional help arrives. The hands-only CPR method is widely promoted to encourage more bystanders to take action in the face if a sudden cardiac arrest situation. However, some emphasizes that the ratio of 30:2 for compressions and breathing respectively is still more effective. Either way, it is important that bystanders do CPR whether hands-only or with breathing to minimize the damaging effects of lack haltered blood supply.
If an AED is readily available, this can help restore the rhythm of the heart through series of jolts. Although CPR can help maintain the beating the heart, only AEDs can help bring back its natural rhythm so it would properly work once again.
It is always better to be ready than sorry during an accident. There is no way of knowing who will be affected in these situations. Learning CPR and other basic first aid practices can be vital.