Automatic external defibrillators are portable versions of the defibrillator. Defibrillators are known to be necessary equipment when it comes to saving victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Now, people can get this medical technology on the road with them anywhere they go. This means that anyone can have the capacity of learning and utilizing the automatic external defibrillator anywhere they go.
Having an AED can be your civic duty. Carrying one is much like carrying a fire extinguisher every time you are on the road. With heart attacks as one of the leading causes of death in the country, carrying an AED with you may just as well save lives. The best part about having an AED is the ease of use that it features, making it an equipment that even first time users can easily manage.
The automatic external defibrillator works by sending a shock to the chest area of a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. The shock is supposed to return the regular beating of the heart, from erratic or stopped status. After the shock, CPR should be administered as well, to keep the blood pumping throughout the body, the brain, and the heart muscles. This way, the body is kept alive, so that when the advanced life support rolls in, there is a much higher chance that the victim will be revived.
If you have an AED and you are susceptible to heart diseases, then you can have it with you all the time. If the most unfortunate event of you suffering a sudden cardiac arrest happens, you can simply point to the AED for someone to administer a shock to you. The same can be said if you are the one witnessing the cardiac arrest. By being level-headed and able to
Truckers can benefit from getting an AED, as the lifestyle of trucking exposes them to more causes of heart attack, such as extreme fatigue, heat, and the lack of exercise and healthy meals. With an AED on board, the chance of revival for cardiac arrests becomes higher and more likely to happen. With proper coordination with advanced life support teams, deaths from heart attacks can definitely decrease.
There are different models of automatic external defibrillators to choose from. As a purchaser, you have to find the right one for your need. An AED is called as such because it is automatic and external. Automatic because it can easily adjust to the need, such as the amount of energy to output depending on the vital signs of the victim. There are also some of these models which have very specific instructions regarding the type of victim, and the circumstances regarding the heart attack. This means that for those that are not too familiar with using a defibrillator, it is a big help to find one with support and an easy to understand manual, because during times when quick action is necessary, reading a convoluted manual can decrease the chances of survival. Find out which model is right for travelling, and for your experience level when it comes to first aid, and your all set to use your AED in case of emergency.
There are a lot of reasons why CPR training is essential. There are some jobs that even mandate an applicant to be OSHA certified to know CPR. There is a great need for people who can respond quickly in time of need, and as a citizen in this great country, we should be able to help those in need. This is why there is a necessity to undergo CPR training and certification once you can, to do a great service to the citizens and to this country.
CPR is the administration of compressions on the chest area of a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. As one of the most commonly known medical first aid procedures, there is a lot who say that they ‘know’ how to administer CPR, but their knowledge only comes from watching films and shows. Although rudimentary knowledge is still useful, being trained by professionals is always the best option.
Types of CPR Training
There are different types of CPR training to choose from. As someone undertaking this responsible duty, you should take note of the right training program for you. Some of the most common training programs include: certification, simulation, online-only, and classroom setting, among others.
A certification program for CPR would be an intensive program that would include basic to advanced CPR practice. This can involve a brief history of CPR as well. Most of the lessons here would also require hands-on practice, to ensure that the trainee thoroughly understands and is able to apply the knowledge in real-life situations. This course is facilitated by an instructor with in-depth knowledge of CPR, so that participants may ask questions and understand the procedure and all its intricate details.
Simulation involves the use of technology, so that the participants may be able to pinpoint the right location where to administer the pressure, and simulation on how to react regarding different situations. This can be done online at home, making it a quick and easy way of learning about CPR. This can be a precursor to more in-depth CPR training.
This type of CPR training involves the use of the internet and certain applications. This is like a simulation, but in a more in-depth format, making it a better option to take if interested participants do not have the time to go to an actual CPR training facility. This can be facilitated by an instructor as well, although no physical presence is involved.
A classroom setting training would most definitely involve a facilitator leading a class. There is also hands-on training involving mannequins, and this is the most common way of getting a certificate. Incorporating information regarding CPR, knowledge about heart attacks and other forms of heart diseases, as well as knowledge on other first aid techniques, a classroom-setting training will surely give participants all the necessary information as well as hands-on training to get them ready to help in real-life situations.
By getting any of these training programs done, any individual can be of great service to others in their times of need. With the use of these training programs, you can get CPR-certified and be of help to others.
In today’s modern age, there are a lot of diseases that have developed due to a change in the lifestyle of the majority. This has allowed the further proliferation of diseases such as cardiac arrhythmia and cardiac arrest. These two diseases can be fatal if no treated immediately.
Cardiac arrhythmia is a catch-all phrase for the irregular beating of the heart. This involves a heartbeat that speeds up too much – tachycardia, or slows down – bradycardia. These types of arrhythmia are dangerous if left untreated immediately, and can develop into something more fatal down the line.
The symptoms of arrhythmia in general are palpitations and the feeling of a pause in the heartbeat. The victim is the first to detect these symptoms and can ask for help immediately. This is why there is a need for a number of available automatic external defibrillators in most establishments.
Cardiac arrest is the disease which causes the heart to cease its function. This is brought about by a slew of different reasons. Some of the most common reasons include a stroke, high blood cholesterol, or sudden heart failure. Either way, there is still a chance for the victim to survive if there is someone who is quick enough to respond to the need and assists the victim by providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and utilizing an automatic external defibrillator to give a shock directly to the patient’s heart.
The presence of automatic external defibrillators helps deal with these heart diseases and provide quick first aid, increasing the chances of revival as soon as advanced life support is available. CPR and AED, if utilized upon witnessing a victim experiencing sudden cardiac arrest or is exhibiting symptoms or arrhythmia, can potentially save lives, decreasing the fatalities claimed by heart diseases.
An automatic external defibrillator works by sending a jolt of electricity to a patient’s chest. This allows the heartbeat to resume regular response. This is because the electric current that flows to the heart sets a standard for all the heart muscles to follow, making the heartbeat contract and release at regular intervals again.
For those attending to victims of sudden cardiac arrest, an AED is not a sure fire way of reviving the victim. The AED may help support the CPR and the revival efforts, but be realistic in your expectations of how an automatic external defibrillator is effective for sudden cardiac arrest patients.
If a lot of establishments in the country adapt and purchase even just a single AED, or better yet, enough to make it accessible all throughout their establishment, then the country will become a much safer place for those who might be susceptible to heart attacks. The possibility of reviving any individual with a heart disease increases significantly with the presence of an AED and trained personnel to administer both this and CPR. With the cooperation of owners, employers, and proprietors all over the country, heart diseases can be combated, and there can be another chance for the patients to change their lifestyle.
There is a necessity for CPR and AED training in the event of any emergencies that could occur in the workplace. This is a highly encouraged training that most employees should undergo, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Even for companies with low health risks within the workplace, undergoing CPR and AED training and certification is still a necessity.
What is CPR and AED?
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is the technique utilized to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest. It is a commonly known procedure that requires applying repeated pressure to the chest area of a victim to ensure that the blood keeps flowing through the body, even if the heart is stopped. This allows blood to deliver oxygen to other parts of the body, the primary function of the heart. In essence, the goal of CPR is keeping blood flow, not reviving a person; although there have been many instances of return of spontaneous circulation.
An Automatic External Defibrillator, commonly known as AED, is a device that helps diagnose the current status of the heart of a patient, from arrhythmias to the lack of a heartbeat, and adjusts accordingly to deliver a shock that could potentially return the beating of the heart of the patient to normal. This is a small and portable device that can be easily carried around. This device is a lightweight version of defibrillators, the machines made popular by medical dramas depicting it as a medium-sized machine that is wheeled around to rooms where patients are undergoing cardiac arrest.
An Employer’s Civic Duty
CPR and AED training therefore, is an essential procedure to undergo to ensure that the workplace is a safe place for everyone within it. It is counted as a civic duty that employers should have their employees undergo. There are certification courses that train individuals more than enough, to become adept in using CPR techniques, and utilizing the AED in times of emergencies. A good employer can partner up with a trusted training institution for CPR and AED use so that the whole company can reap the benefits of readiness, as well as create a healthy and helpful environment for sufferers and those susceptible to heart diseases.
Additionally, employers should have an AED within their premises and establishment at all times. Even with the training, without the actual equipment, there would be no reason for employees to utilize their training on the subject. There are available models of automatic external defibrillator which make it easier to use, and are more portable than others, so it is up to the employer to consult with the experts on AEDs to find out which one is the best for the company.
Knowing about these procedures is not only helpful within the company, it is also a great way of being helpful to others in the outside world. By being able to administer proper CPR and use an AED on a patient, any individual may become the reason why a patient is alive today.
First aid is a catch-all phrase for the different medical responses for different situations. First aid is usually done to help using only the readily accessible items in the proximity of a medical situation. First aid is a vital part of every medical situation as fast response always increases the speed of recovery of a patient. Learning first aid is easy, and it is a skill that can be useful in the most critical situations.
Some of the most common first aid procedures are done for some minor situations such as a bone fracture, dislocation, scratches, minor burns, and poisoning, choking, among others.
For injuries concerning the bone, one of the most common first aid procedures involve the creation of a splint which would help keep the bone straight and unmoved. Splints can be created with the help of a straight and sturdy item like a piece of wood, wrapped around the part of the body that has experienced a bone injury. This helps avoid further damage that can occur if the part of the body with the injury is moved.
Dislocation of the joints can be dealt with the help of a sudden strong force to relocate the joint, and this first aid is something that rarely requires any follow-up medical procedures. Scratches are dealt with by using cleaning agents to disinfect the scratch. Burns are dealt with by putting cold water and cooling gels available on the burn area. There are many small acts that can greatly relive pain and injury with the help of first aid knowledge.
Choking is another medical situation dealt with by using the Heimlich Maneuver. This is done to a patient so that the object that is lodged in the windpipe is forcefully removed, with the help of certain motions and the application of force and pressure. This is one first aid procedure that is a potential lifesaver.
There are also first aid procedures for major medical situations. One of the most common first aid procedure is cardiopulmonary resuscitation, shortened as CPR. This is the widely popular first aid done for victims of sudden cardiac arrest and some forms of arrhythmia. This is a type of CPR that may require training, although there have been instances where untrained people have successfully administered CPR. Unlike most of the first aid procedures stated earlier, CPR does not necessarily cure the problem during its administration. There are recorded incidents where there is a Return of Spontaneous Circulation or ROSC – meaning the patient has successfully regained a stable heartbeat – but the primary function of CPR is to continue the flow of the heart and delivery of oxygen to stop the decay of the heart tissue and the brain.
While most of the minor first aid procedures stated above can be done without proper training, practice can still play an important part in the success of a person’s administration of these first aid. As for CPR, training is a big factor in the success of the administration, as it is truly a critical first aid procedure.
Sudden cardiac arrests, commonly known as heart attacks, are one of the most proliferate killers in the country. With more than 300,000 lives claimed yearly, sudden cardiac arrest is truly a frighteningly large health problem in the country. Perhaps, the lifestyle of the people is to blame, but if the people cannot eat what they want to eat or do whatever they want to do, then they might as well be slaves. There is always a middle ground in which people can find healthy meals that they would want while keeping their weight in check, and the chances of having a sudden cardiac arrest remain low.
While science is searching for that middle ground to settle in, citizens must arm themselves with the power to be able to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Some of the ways you can help people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest include calling 911, calling medical services nearby, and administering CPR to the patient. The 911 operator that will answer your call can assist you in administering CPR, as well as conduct medical personnel to your location, but having some sort of training to help you in performing the procedure properly can be a great help.
Causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest can be caused by a lot of factors, mostly due to health problems concerning the health of the respiratory system, a large amount of electricity flowing through the body, and a connection between cardiac arrest and cholesterol in the body.
Respiratory problems are one of the primary causes of sudden cardiac arrest. The lack of air within the lungs shocks the heart muscles, stopping it from beating. This is usually seen with a person who has drowned. With the lack of air in the lungs and the large amount of water, the heart ceases to function in a few minutes. CPR is a necessity upon acquisition of the victim, and it is a known way of flushing the water out of the lungs. Mouth-to-mouth is highly encouraged to quickly replenish the lost air in the lungs of a victim suffering from respiratory problems.
As electric signals power the muscles in our body, a large magnitude of an electric shock can zap our body’s system and cause the heart to malfunction. For these type of sudden cardiac arrest, CPR is still a viable option, but advanced life support teams must come immediately for further specialized revival techniques.
With the build-up of cholesterol in the blood vessels, there may be a chance that an artery or vein will be blocked. This will cause the heart to have trouble in pumping blood properly and may cause the heart muscles to weaken considerably, ending in heart failure. Although this is a much more complicated problem, administering CPR can still help in further revival attempts by the advanced life support team.
With all the causes of heart disease come different ways of administering CPR and needing medical attention. Never hesitate to help someone who looks to be in need of first aid life support, you may just save their lives.
Teaching kids early about CPR can be a real lifesaver. Kids are better when it comes to developing skills for long-term use. They are less likely to forget when they are able to do hands-on and CPR training is just like that.
It is easy as introducing to them cardiopulmonary resuscitation while watching TV or movies with you particularly those that shows medical personnel performing one. However, it is important to note that some shows and movies don’t depict the correct way to perform CPR.
So, what is CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a way that kids would understand?
Cardio pertains to the heart and pulmonary pertains to the lungs, while resuscitation is a medical term for reviving – or at least try to – bring someone back to life after they have lost the heart’s main function, which is to pump out blood to vital organs. The process of CPR can help increase the survival of a person who has suddenly dropped dead – with no heart activity (pulseless) and with high risk of developing irreversible brain damage secondary to loss of oxygen.
Medical personnel and all those who respond to emergencies are trained to do CPR but kids, teens and adults can be aware and get trained to do CPR, as well.
Components of CPR
There are two basic components of CPR including –
- Chest compressions
- Rescue breathing
However, studies have shown that chest compressions alone are enough to enhance the survival of the patient who goes into cardiac arrest because the blood still has oxygen that should be delivered to vital organs particularly the brain.
Chest compressions are done using both hands but when the one being given CPR is a baby or a child – one hand would suffice. This is done to press the chest from the outside in order to move the circulation out from the heart towards vital organs. This will help deliver the necessary oxygen especially by the brain so that no permanent damage will ensue or be kept minimized if any.
A person whose brain does not have oxygen for more than five minutes will get permanent damage since the cells can no longer sustain their living state.
The process of chest compression will make the hands go up and down – up when you allow blood to flow back to the heart and down when you make the blood flow out of the heart. This should be done until emergency help arrives on scene and takes the patient to the hospital where it can receive post-cardiac arrest interventions.
When kids are trained and educated about CPR early, they would grow up readier and more prepared on what could happen. There will be less panic and anxiety when they are confronted with emergency situations like cardiac arrest.
Surely you’ve heard bystanders saving a life of a total stranger who went into cardiac arrest. How is this even possible – you may ask? And, the answer is: CPR training.
During cardiac arrest, there is this golden period – which refers to the time elapsing before permanent brain damage due to oxygen deprivation ensues. If you are a bystander and you know how to perform CPR because of training before, you can actually give patients a second chance at life.
Around 10% of patients receiving CPR from lay people or bystanders have been discharged following cardiac arrest with no or minimal – if any – untoward effects to brain function. You may think that 10% is almost equivalent to insignificant but in a population of 1,000 cardiac arrest cases – you are actually looking at 100 people living their second chances and this is something you should not brush off as insignificant.
If all bystanders or lay people are given adequate training and awareness on CPR, this 10% would probably increase in the next years to come.
Cardiac Arrest Need Early Intervention
What better way to intervene early than to perform cardiac compressions right away or as soon as you spotted a pulseless, unconscious individual? Whether it is done by you or other bystanders in the area, early intervention to cardiac arrest increases survival and promotes good prognosis. As some medical professionals would say, “Better for you to make mistake (on performing CPR) than do nothing and watch someone die when you could’ve done something.”
What Makes People Hesitate?
Often, bystanders hesitate to perform CPR because of varying reasons and this includes legal consequences. Another reason is that people are often afraid that they’re doing something wrong and they may be doing more harm than good.
However, these fears – no matter how real – should not stop you from getting trained and perform CPR when the need arises. Technically, the person who has gone into cardiac arrest is already dead. What could be worse than that? CPR will just increase the patient’s survival and if CPR alongside post-cardiac arrest managements succeed – wouldn’t that be a great achievement?
What Cardiac Arrest Is?
Cardiac arrest is the cessation of the proper heart function until it cannot beat anymore due to several reasons – mainly fatigue from unsynchronized contraction of heart muscles. More often, it is due to failure of the electrical system that conducts the function of the heart, which makes it beat erratically and eventually stop from beating.
As this is so, blood cannot circulate throughout the body more particularly to the brain. The brain is the most sensitive organ to oxygen level fluctuations and if the heart could not pump blood towards it then it will lose its primary source of oxygen. Eventually, brain cells will die and so the rest of the body follows if the processor does not function anymore.
Imagining this scenario at the back of your mind, would you rather have done something than believe that CPR will not change anything? Think again. CPR may just be the only thing saving your loved one from the consequences of brain damage or even death.
The components of cardiopulmonary resuscitation include –
- Chest compressions
- Rescue breathing
Both are believed to be essential components to keep blood flow to the brain during cardiac arrest so that oxygen can still be delivered to the cells that require it to keep them alive. However, research has shown that even with chest compressions alone, a person who goes into cardiac arrest can survive without any major debilitating consequences of brain damage.
Generally, there is poor prognosis and survival rates for people who go into cardiac arrest. But, with early and adequate resuscitation using CPR as well as early defibrillation by trained personnel this has improved the statistics. When careful post-cardiac arrest interventions are also done – the prognosis and survival rates of such patients have significantly improved as well.
When and when not to apply CPR?
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation must be done as soon as possible on a person who become suddenly unconscious and doesn’t have any pulse. The disappearance of pulse may be attributed to cardiac problems such as arrhythmia and it may include the following –
- Pulseless VTAC (Ventricular Tachycardia)
- Pulseless EA (Electrical Activity)
- Ventricular Fibrillation
- Pulseless Bradycardia
However, even if you don’t know exactly what caused the cessation of the heart’s activity, CPR should be done right away and must be continued until a defibrillator is available for application. Once a defibrillator has already been applied, CPR must resume until a pulse is back and felt.
The only absolute time that CPR cannot be done is when there is an issue of DNR or do-not-resuscitate order. This is usually ordered in hospital setting and often not when the patient is on the sidewalk or at home doing daily living routine. So when you see someone who become unconscious and is pulseless, you should immediately start CPR after you’ve called 911 or after someone has done it for you.
Apart from the defibrillator, which medical responders usually have, CPR does not require any bystander to have any equipment upon performing the process. More often than not, a COCPR or compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation is recommended.
Essentials of CPR
One of the essentials of CPR is training. When you are confronted by a stressful emergency situation, people react in several ways and it includes –
- Inability to think
- Forgetting what you learned
- Act immediately
So far, acting immediately is a good if not best way to respond to the emergency situation. It doesn’t matter whether you know the person or not – if you want that person to have a second shot at life then you would perform CPR right away.
CPR training does not guarantee you that you can save everyone and it does not guarantee that you will remember everything when you are actually on scene. However, even if you cannot save everyone and even if you forget and make mistakes on how CPR is done, it is still better than not doing anything at all.
If you are interested in attending a CPR training, there are more than a handful of CPR training centers that you can head to, one of which is Citywide.
Recently, there is a rise in the number of people who have been trained with CPR. However, it’s surprising to know that only a few of these people really apply what they know of when the need arises. Though it seems surprising, it is not new anymore. There are few reasons why this happens –
- People panic and freeze when they see someone dying in front of their eyes.
- People forget what to do when emergency situation arises.
- People are afraid that they are doing wrong.
Panic is a feeling that will not help the mind recall the right things to do and even when you chant the words “don’t panic” it still doesn’t change anything if your mind has already been overpowered by fear and anxiety. Even people who have medical training, they can still feel the same panic and freeze when emergency situations ensue.
However, if you have been trained before, it is alright to make a mistake rather than doing nothing more than calling 911. If you needed to be reminded, you can always ask the dispatcher to make instructions on what to do during CPR so that the person you are saving still has the chance at life until the medical responders arrive on scene.
CPR doesn’t have to be performed together with rescue breathing or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Research has shown that chest compressions were good or perhaps even better on its own, which means to say that rescue breathing is not really necessary. This eliminates the disgust factor and thus make people more apt to perform CPR when the need arises.
What CPR Can Do?
CPR can save lives – you know that and this simplicity can be explained by medical science. A lot of people have already been discharged from the hospital without the untoward brain effects of oxygen deprivation because CPR was performed within the golden period.
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone – even your loved one. The heart can stop even with no apparent reason or perhaps unexplainable reason and without its pumping capacity the brain can be deprived by its much needed oxygen. When the deprivation is great, cells start to die because they can no longer sustain the metabolic needs. As cells in the brain begin to die, the damage it can cause is irreversible because the brain does not have or little if any regenerating capacity.
With CPR, the irreversible damage is minimized if not prevented – helping the person recover from cardiac arrest with little to no apparent evidence and have a chance at life once again. So, why get training in CPR – because life is in your hands even as we speak and it is not just about strangers we could be talking about your loved ones as well.
Fortunately, learning CPR is not hard these days. There are a number of CPR training centers that provide programs for those who would like to learn how to conduct proper CPR as well as how to handle AED during emergency cases.