General Public Awareness on the Importance of CPR and AED is Vital to Saving Lives
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.