In the event of a cardiac emergency, such as a heart attack or cardiac arrest, the most important step in saving a life is to perform CPR until emergency services arrive. CPR serves the function of continuing circulation in the victim when consciousness is lost and the heart stops beating. Combined with the use of an AED, these urgent steps can make all the difference in life or death.
How Urgent Is Urgent?
The single most important factor here is speed. Statistics show that in the event of cardiac arrest, immediate CPR can double or triple the chances of survival, and that CPR must be performed within five minutes to save the victim’s life. After a collapse, for every minute that passes without a shock from an AED to revive a stopped heart, chances of survival decrease by nearly 10%.
What’s The Rush?
In Sudden Cardiac Arrest, a victim’s heart suddenly stops beating, frequently without warning. This can happen to at-risk patients with heart disease, as well those with an undetected underlying medical condition which may have been dormant for years. In fact, two thirds of cardiac arrest cases occur without any prior indication of heart disease.
During cardiac arrest, unconsciousness sets in rapidly, as the brain cannot function without the oxygen that comes from blood flow. This is known as “hypoxia” and can lead to a hypoxic-anoxic injury (HAI). After 3 minutes without CPR, brain damage can begin to set in, most likely to the temporal lobe, where memories are stored. After 9 minutes, irreversible damage is likely, and after ten minutes, there is almost no chance of survival.
If a bystander witnesses someone experience cardiac arrest, immediate action is imperative. These high stress situations can lead to panic, but with proper training, cooler heads can prevail and take the appropriate steps to save a life. The American Heart Association refers to these steps as the “Chain of Survival.” The five links in the Chain of Survival are:
- Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
- Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions
- Rapid defibrillation
- Basic and advanced emergency medical services
- Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care
In an emergency, this simple list can turn to gibberish. The basics of CPR can be confusing, AED’s can be difficult to find, and calling 9-1-1 can be forgotten altogether. While untrained CPR is always better than no action, proper training and certification can allow bystanders to confidently step up and take charge in an emergency.
At Safety and Health Solutions, we provide the highest quality training from the best instructors around. Our students, from medical professionals to those with no medical training at all, have all praised our straightforward and entertaining methods, which allow them to feel confident to act swiftly and decisively in an emergency. We offer classes year round at our facility, as well as on location in hospitals and workplaces around Georgia. Visit our website and find the class that’s right for you, or give us a call and we’ll bring training to your entire workplace! CPR training is a quick and easy step towards reducing death from cardiac arrest across the country. So sign up today!