Making The Most of An AED

December 14, 2012Comments Off on Making The Most of An AED

Ventricular fibrillation as well as pulseless ventricular tachycardia can be life-threatening medical emergencies. Both have been credited with leading to Sudden Cardiac Arrest which currently has affected more than 300,000 American lives. It is because of this that the American Heart Association continually seeks various ways on how to make saving a person’s life much easier for bystanders as well as for experienced first responders. This continuing commitment to saving lives has led to changes in how CPR is conducted as well as to the introduction of the AED.

The Automated External Defibrillator, more commonly known as the AED, is a portable electronic device that is used in the assessment of unconscious victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest as well as in the administration of the needed electric shocks in order to help the patient’s heart regain its natural rhythm. One of the things that a user has to keep in mind when it comes to AED is the fact that not all cases would necessitate the administration of electric shocks. With the help of AED, however, can help take the guess work out. This is because most AED models actually provide the responder with an analysis of the patient’s condition. In most instances, the AED would prompt the responder with an audio as well as a visual message indicating what to do next. Of all the SCA cases in the US, recent studies have noted a 74% increase in the survival rate when an AED was put to use. This is as opposed to the mere 5% chances of survival where an AED did not play any part.

Although the AED is able to increase the survival rate in people suffering from AED, timing could still play a part on this survival rate. Most medical professionals recommend administering the AED within 3 to 5 minutes after the patient has become unconscious. This is something that is also applicable when it comes to the administration of CPR. A minute outside of this time frame considerably reduces the possibility of the person being able to pull through from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. That being the case, it would be beneficial to administrators of AED programs to have the unit situated in areas that is easily accessible to responders. Program managers should also consider the possibility of having more than one AED unit available.

The use of AED is something that is not only recommended for adults. Recently, the American Heart Association has also deemed the use of the AED as something that is fit for children. This is after studies have shown that, in 90% of the cases, the AED is able to correctly indicate that the patient is in need of defibrillation. The AED became even more promising when the same study was able to reflect a 95% accuracy in AED when it comes to indicating cases where defibrillation is NOT needed.

Since AED is not enough when you come face to face with danger, you also have to know how to administer CPR. One of the ways by which you can master this procedure is to undergo CPR training and certification program with Citywide CPR.

Common Concerns About the AED

December 12, 2012Comments Off on Common Concerns About the AED

The introduction of AED when it comes to saving lives has significantly increased the survival rate when it comes to people suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Unfortunately, there are still a few who are in doubt as to whether getting an AED is worth it.

AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, is a portable device used by responders in order to assess whether a victim is suffering from cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia. Aside from assessing the condition of the victim, an AED is also used in order to administer electrical shocks in order to allow the heart to get back to its natural beating pattern.

Although most states require the presence of at least one unit of AED in most public and private establishments, its use in a household is still optional. That being the case, one can see a significant increase in survival rate for people suffering from cardiac arrest while outside of their own home as well as outside of any medical facility. One of the many reasons why homeowners are still hesitant about getting an AED is the fact that they are not thoroughly familiar about what the AED is all about.

For one, not many people are quite aware of the fact that AEDs can actually be used on infants. This is a recent development that was recently approved by the American Heart Association (AHA). What’s more, recent studies have shown that, when using AEDs, it does not matter whether you use adult pads or pediatric pads in children. What AHA would like to emphasize on is the importance of delivering the needed electrical jolts than letting the heart stop altogether.

Very few people are also aware of the fact that AED units can actually tell you whether there is a need to administer electrical jolts or you can just do chest compressions. As we have mentioned beforehand, AEDs are able to assess the situation of the victim. Based on the information the built-in computer is able to gather, the machine would prompt the responder whether there is a need to administer electrical shock or not. If there is none, the machine would most likely prompt the responder to start administering CPR instead.

With an AED within your home, you are actually able to up the chances of survival of a person suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest by about 74%. That is a significant improvement over the chances of anyone surviving without the help of an AED or with CPR not being administered within three minutes. The latter is at 5%.

In order for the use of an AED to be maximized, most professionals recommend placing it in an accessible place, somewhere where the unit can be accessed and used on the patient within a matter of 3 to 5 minutes. In private and public establishments, it should be situated in high-risk areas. In homes, however, it could be placed in an area with high traffic.

Get to know more about proper CPR by undergoing a CPR training and certification with Citywide CPR. You can also enroll in their AED program management.

Increasing the Survival Rate with An AED

December 10, 2012Comments Off on Increasing the Survival Rate with An AED

According to a recent study done by a group of researchers at the John Hopkins University, around 300,000 Americans are more likely to suffer a heart attack outside of a medical institution. Out of these number, only a mere 8% are able to pull through. In most cases, the patient experiences ventricular fibrillation. In this kind of situation, what happens is the patient experiencing is an erratic sending of electrical pulse to the lower chamber of the heart causing it to quiver instead of being able to pump blood normally. You have to understand that the quivering of the heart does not cause the blood to circulate. Fortunately, in situations like these, you can always rely on AEDs.

AED, which stands for Automated External Defibrillator, a lightweight and portable device that allows a responder to deliver electrical pulses into the victim’s heart through the chest allowing the heart to have a more stable beating pattern. AEDs typically come with both visual and audio prompt that alerts a responder on what they need to do in order to revive a victim. These devices can be used in order to automatically diagnose cardiac arrhythmias involving ventricular fibrillation as well as ventricular tachycardia. In most CPR classes and training sessions, the use of AED is taught as it is one of the easiest ways by which a person can save another’s life.

So how does an AED work?

AEDs come with a built-in computer that is able to check the heart’s beating pattern with the help of adhesive electrodes. Based on what information the computer gets, it makes certain computations in order to ascertain whether defibrillation is needed. If there is a need for it, the device would issue either a visual or an audio prompt (in some models, both), that would let the responder apply electric shock to the heart. These electric impulses actually causes the heart to stop in order for it to regain its natural rhythm. Not all cases would call for electric shocks, however, as this is only recommended for those with ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia.

With most buildings and institutions already required to have at least one unit of AED, it is therefore no surprise that there is a significant increase in the number of people who are able to survive cardiac arrests even when they are not in a medical institution. Coincidentally, most of the victims who suffer from cardiac arrest outside of medical institutions, about 36% to 79%, have either a pulseless ventricular tachycardia or a ventricular fibrillation, two conditions that, as we have mentioned before, respond positively to the administration of electric shocks via AEDs.

Given these figures, most medical professionals are of the opinion that AEDs truly provide a big help for those suffering from cardiac arrest while outside of a medical facility. However, for those who are within the comfort of their home where having an AED is optional, a knowledge of CPR, even if it is just Compression-Only CPR, would prove to be of great help.

If you would like to come up with an AED program in your workplace, Citywide CPR can help you with your AED program management.

Five Things You Need to Know About CPR

December 6, 2012Comments Off on Five Things You Need to Know About CPR

CPR, or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, has been touted by a number of medical professionals as a life-saving procedure that should be administered on time. Unfortunately, there are very few people who actually understand what CPR is all about. Here are five of the things that you probably do not know, but need to know, about CPR:

  1. With the recent release of the 2010 Guidelines form the American Health Association (AHA), more and more first-aiders as well as medical professionals are promoting compression-only CPR (COCPR). Based on studies, the timely application of COCPR is able to increase the rate of survival among adult victims. COCPR has also been credited with increasing the chances of the victim pulling through with minimal to no effect on their neurological health.
  2. CPR by modern standards does not follow anymore the age-old A-B-C route. Since the focus now is on administering chest compression, the procedure currently being followed by paramedics and medical professionals is C-A-B – Chest compression followed by checking of Airway, and then administration of artificial respiration of breathing.
  3. In most cities in the US, it would take a paramedic about 4 minutes to get to where the patient is. This few minutes are crucial as any minute that the cells and tissues are unable to get the nutrients they need can increase the likelihood of the onset of tissue necrosis. If left unattended, this could lead to organ failure as well as death. This makes the immediate administration of CPR even more important.
  4. Regardless of how you do it, CPR by someone not trained to do so is less likely to harm the victim compared to just waiting for someone knowledgeable to do it. However, bystanders have to keep in mind that chest compressions should be at least 2 inches deep and should follow the rhythm of “Stayin’ Alive”. It should also be administered immediately in order to make the most of the oxygen that is still in the person’s lungs.
  5. Continuous chest compressions have been credited with being able to revive a victim in a number of cases. Of course this does not mean that the victim is already out of the woods. It is still best to have the victim be checked out by a medical professional.

One thing more than a bystander has to keep in mind is that all cardiac arrests would call for the administration of chest compression. If you are not aware of what caused the person to fall unconscious, err on the side of caution. Assume that the person is suffering from cardiac arrest and immediately administer chest compression.

Although compression-only CPR is promising, you also have to keep in mind that it can only be used for adult victims. For children and babies, AHA as well as medical professionals recommend a different procedure in administering CPR.

To be sure that you are able to confidently administer CPR, one option that you should look into is undergoing the CPR Certification and training program being provided by Citywide CPR.

Inside the World of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation

December 4, 2012Comments Off on Inside the World of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation

For about four decades, paramedics and other medical professionals have insisted on a specific set of procedure when it comes to saving a life, especially when it involves unconscious victims. The rigidity of this process has led many bystanders to hesitate administering CPR for fear that, since they are not familiar with how it should be done, they would do more harm than good.

Now, fast forward to today.

With the release of the new guidelines last 2010 when it comes to how CPR is performed, more and more people are finding confidence when it comes to jumping in at an emergency situation. This is because the guidelines makes for a simpler way of being able to save somebody’s life. For one, there is no more need to check the airway and administer artificial resuscitation before doing chest compression.

For trained first aiders, the 2010 guidelines released by the American Heart Association now dictate that they need to do chest compressions first before checking the airway and administering artificial . This is different from the traditional practice of A-B-C. People who do not have any training in CPR are also encouraged to administer continuous chest compressions, also known as COCPR or Compression-Only CPR, until the patient regains consciousness or until the paramedics arrive. Bystanders are further advised that each of the chest compression should at least be 2 inches deep and should number to about a hundred in a minute. In most cases, medical professionals recommend making use of “Stayin’ Alive” in order to time the compression.

With the introduction of the COCPR, medical professionals have noticed an increase in the survival rate among adults who had suffered from cardiac arrest or infarction while outside of a hospital or a medical facility.

So what brought about the change in how situations involving unconscious victims are handled? Recent studies have shown that with each minute that passes that no CPR is administered, the chances of the person’s survival falls by about 10 to 15%. This is because, with each minute that passes that no blood is circulating around the body, the tissues and cells are deprived of the needed oxygen. What happens next is the death of the tissue and cells which, of course, leads to organ failure and death. With COCPR, artificial blood circulation is set to play allowing the tissues and cells to get the much needed oxygen and nutrients that could help prevent tissue necrosis. That being said, the timely administration of the CPR allows not only higher chances of survival but it also increases by two to three folds the possibility that the patient would not have to worry about suffering from any neurological problem.

Of course, one has to remember that CPR, including COCPR, is just one of the many ways a person would be able to pull through from a cardiac arrest. Those who are afraid to administer CPR can also make use of an AED device, a portable electronic gadget that can be used in order to normalize the beating pattern of the heart.

Do not get caught unprepared. Undergo Citywide CPR’s CPR certification and training program to make sure that you know what to do during emergency situations.

CPR: Making The Most Of A Situation

November 28, 2012Comments Off on CPR: Making The Most Of A Situation

If someone happens to just lose consciousness while they are beside you, would you know what to do? For most people, their response would be to look for the phone, call the paramedics, and wait for them to come by. For a select few, however, the answer would be include, “administer CPR”.

CPR, also known as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, is a medical procedure done in order to restore blood circulation as well as prevent tissue necrosis, especially in a person’s vital organs. It is typically done in people who have suffered from myocardial infarction and are unresponsive. Keep in mind, however, that, as opposed to what many people think, CPR does not actually jumpstart the heart. What it does is simulate blood circulation in order to ensure that the oxygen being carried by the blood cells are able to reach the various tissues of the body’s major organs. By doing so, tissue necrosis is prevented. In most cases, defibrillation is needed in order to ensure the natural beating pattern of the heart.

Because of the risk that comes with chest compression such as broken ribs, many people are adamant about extending help to an unconscious person. In truth, however, administering CPR is not as hard as most people think especially now that the American Heart Association has come up with guidelines that make saving another person’s life even simpler. The said guidelines would secede the 2005 set of guidelines by the American Heart Association. With the new guidelines in place, the only thing that one has to remember is to make as much chest compression as possible without stopping.

If in the past much of the focus is on making sure that the A-B-C is followed when it comes to reviving an unconscious victim, that is no longer the case. The latest guidelines has re-arranged the order of the letters with more focused on Chest Compression; thus, the order now is C-A-B. This is applicable for those who have experience in administering CPR. For those who do not have any experience in CPR administration, the 2010 guidelines suggest continued chest compression. Each of the compression, however, needs to be at least 2 inches deep and should number to as much as 100 compressions in a minute. The best way to ensure that one’s timing is correct, many professionals recommend to time the push or the compression to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive”. Most professionals also recommend that first aiders, and even bystanders, should only stop compression if they get tired and have someone to replace them or if the paramedics have already arrived. With the results of recent studies pointing at the fact that prolonged CPR can actually increase the chances of survival, the endorsement of continued compression comes as no surprise. Once the victim becomes conscious, however, continued medical supervision is recommended. This is to ensure that the delay in the blood circulation has not caused any long-term effects.

Prepare yourself for any kind of situation by undergoing the CPR training and certification program being provided by Citywide CPR.

CPR: The Longer, The Better

November 26, 2012Comments Off on CPR: The Longer, The Better

Getting involved in a medical emergency, especially if you do not have any background on how to apply CPR, can be very stressful. After all, what becomes of the victim rests largely on your hands. The situation is even more compounded by the fact that the person attending to the victim might not have any training in CPR or first aid. That being the case, the question becomes how long should one stay on the case and keep trying? Well, there’s no need to worry anymore.

Recent studies into the efficacy of CPR has concluded that, if possible, the first aider or responder should continue well until the paramedics arrive or the patient regains consciousness. This after the people behind the study had observed a significant number of cases of people making it through a cardiac arrest after the doctor, or the medical professional, persisted with the life-saving procedure for nine minutes more. The results of the said study might surprise many since, for a long time now, it was believed that persisting with the procedure can be quite futile. After all, should a patient survive, he or she might have to contend with damages to major organs brought about by the lack of needed oxygen.

The study was published in The Lancet with Dr. Zachary D. Goldberger as the head author, and is considered to be the first one to show the relationship between the length of CPR and the probability for survival. The study, however, focuses on the hospital setting although the respondents for the said study is considerably significant making it one of the largest done when it comes to CPR. More than 60,000 cases where reviewed in order to come up with the results of the study. These cases were spread out in about 435 hospitals all over the US, between the years 2000 to 2008.

Some of the surprising results of the study include the significant differences in the duration that the CPR was administered with some institutions going between 16 to 25 minutes. The researchers were also surprised to note that the longer the CPR was administered, the higher the chances of survival. What’s more, regardless of the length of the CPR, the patient was able to do well and showed no side effects.

Since the length of time that a person should continue administering CPR is not really under any guideline, most medical professionals recommend that hospitals and similar institutions should make the necessary changes in how they handle unconscious patients specifically when it comes to the extent of CPR that they have to administer. Although the study does not indicate that longer CPR for every case is the answer, it is still best to continue doing CPR for 30 minutes before giving up on the patient.

You can make sure that you know what to do should a medical emergency arise by undergoing a CPR training and certification program being offered by Citywide CPR.

What You Need to Know About Cardiac Arrests

November 22, 2012Comments Off on What You Need to Know About Cardiac Arrests

People of today often confuse cardiac arrest with heart attack. While both may affect the heart, there are actually a number of major differences between the two. For one, cardiac arrest tends to be sudden and typically comes without any warning. On the other hand, heart attack typically induces a number of warning signs such as difficulty breathing and numbing or tingling sensation on the limbs.

Cardiac arrest is generally defined as cessation of normal heart beat patterns due to the heart’s inability to contract correctly. It is also known as circulatory arrest and, when it involves sudden onset, Sudden Cardiac Arrest or SCA. While cardiac arrest happens due to the heart’s inability to pump blood, heart attack takes place when there is a blockage that prevents the blood from reaching the heart. Considered as a medical emergency, cardiac arrest is one medical situation whose effects can be reversed so long as necessary steps are taken immediately.

In typical past situations, cardiac arrest victims would have to wait for the paramedics to arrive or for someone with background in CPR to assist if he or she would like to make through the ordeal. Other than that, the chances of survival can be quite grim. This is due to the fact that most bystanders are afraid that their actions might cause more harm than good. With the release of the new guidelines on CPR in 2010, however, this seems to have changed.

The 2010 CPR guidelines released by the American Heart Association puts more focus now on the compression rather than on the checking of the airway and the artificial respiration. Although this does not truly enforce a specific procedure, it is a dependable guide on what to do. This change was primarily brought about by the results of recent studies that show an increase in the likelihood of saving the person if the circulation of the blood is immediately started, albeit in an artificial way. With the implementation of the new guidelines, first aiders as well as bystanders are encouraged to do first compressions before checking the airway and administering artificial resuscitation. Each of the compression should be about two inches deep and should be as much as 100 compressions in a minute. A good way to time one’s self would be to use the beat of the song, “Stayin’ Alive”. For those who are not familiar with how CPR is done, professionals recommend doing hands-only compression until the paramedics arrive. As the name implies, this procedure does not require the responder to do artificial respiration. Instead, he or she focuses on administering chest compression. One can also make use of AED, Automated External Defibrillator, devices in order to normalize the beating pattern of the heart. Majority of the models of AED currently out in the market make it possible for the users to administer CPR even if they have not had any prior experience in doing so.

You can undergo CPR training and certification with Citywide CPR to ensure that you know what to do during emergency situations.

What You Need to Know About Bystander CPR

November 20, 2012Comments Off on What You Need to Know About Bystander CPR

No one can really be sure when tragedy would strike. This is the reason why one of the things that first aiders and responders are taught is being ready at all times. Unfortunately, those who do not have training on how to save a life during emergency situations might not have the proper mindset when it comes to dealing with the situation as well as the patient. This is where the skill of a dispatcher would play an important role.

Generally, a dispatcher is the person who receives emergency calls. They are also responsible for ensuring that the nearest responder would be sent out to the victim. In most cases, they stay on the line with the caller to ensure that the responders are able to reach the latter on time.

In most cases, a bystander’s initial reaction when faced with a medical emergency is to get in touch with the paramedics via the dispatcher. Depending on where the victim is located, the paramedics typically get to the scene between 2 to 5 minutes. Although this might just seem like a few minutes of waiting, for a person suffering from cardiac arrest, this could actually spell the difference between life and death. Having said that, clearly, it would now depend on the dispatcher how the situation is resolved and where the case would be leading to.

CPR, or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, is a process carried out in cardiac arrest victims in order to ensure that oxygen reaches tissues in time. By starting an artificial blood circulation, tissue necrosis is prevented and major organs are kept functioning.

In most cases, it is recommended that the dispatcher guide the bystander on what to do while the latter is waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Although many might be concerned about the probability of the bystander doing more harm to the patient than good, studies have shown that, with the dispatcher giving the bystander clear instructions on what to do, the rate of a cardiac arrest victim’s survival increases favorably. On the downside, however, there is also the risk that, if the patient is not really suffering from cardiac arrest, there could be instances of fracture. Medical professionals, however, believe that the probabilities are still in favor of dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR. How is this is? Based on studies, of the 46% cases of CPR in non-cardiac arrest victims, only 11% suffered from discomfort brought about by the CPR with 9% experiencing soreness and tenderness of the chest area. What’s more, only 2% of the 46% of cases actually suffered from fractures brought about by a dispatcher-assisted bystander.

Medical professionals still encourage dispatchers to make sure that they advice the bystander to administer CPR as soon as they are sure that the patient is unresponsive and unconscious. Any minute taken away from the life-saving procedure actually increases the chances of the victim not making it through. In line with this, the only recommendation that medical professionals make is that the dispatchers would have to be direct to the point when giving out the instructions.

Get to know more about proper CPR by undergoing a CPR training and certification with Citywide CPR.

The Importance of AED in the Workplace

November 16, 2012Comments Off on The Importance of AED in the Workplace

There is no price to human life. No matter what one’s race, beliefs, gender, or social status is, if that person needs saving, then those around him would need to exert some effort. Fortunately, in today’s world, such effort need not be much. With the advent of technology, such devices as the AED, or the Automated External Defibrillator, can be used in order to revive an unconscious person,

The AED is a portable electronic device used by paramedics as well as a number of first aiders in order to normalize the rhythm of a person’s heart. It typically comes into play in cases involving cardiac arrhythmia of ventricular fibrillation as well as in cases involving ventricular tachycardia. An AED is typically no larger than a standard notebook. In some, it has a wide screen that allows for monitoring of the patient’s heart. There are also those that provide both visual and audio prompt in order to help a bystander administer CPR as well as make us of the device even if they have no prior knowledge of how to do so. But, just how important is an AED in the workplace?

It is a known fact that cardiac arrest can occur at anytime, any place, and to anyone. What’s alarming about this condition is the fact that it does not show any warning sign or symptom as opposed to heart attack. What typically happens is that the patient just suddenly falls unconscious. That being the case, it is therefore important that there is someone around who knows how to administer CPR. Unfortunately, someone who happens to know CPR being at the right place and at the right time might seem like a stretch. In real life, there is a greater possibility that no one around would be able to administer CPR in time. This is where the importance of having an AED unit available becomes even more pronounced.

AED units typically come in various designs. There are those that have both audio and visual prompts that allow the user to use the unit without breaking a sweat. Oftentimes, the AED units also give out instructions on how to perform CPR. With this, even those who have not had any formal training when it comes to administering CPR. What’s more, there are models of AED that can give out accurate reports of the heart’s condition. These reports can then help the paramedics make the right call when it comes to handling the unconscious patient. It can also help medical professionals figure out what medical condition the patient might have.

Although AEDs are easy to use, one must, however, keep in mind that its primary purpose is to administer electrical jolts. That being the case, certain precautions need to be taken before the AED can be used. For instance, the patient must be on a flat surface and far from a water source.

If you would like to come up with an AED program in your workplace, Citywide CPR can help you with your AED program management.