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.