World heart day
How To Save a Life
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), often misunderstood as a massive heart attack, is a treatable condition that does not have to lead to sudden death. When someone suffers SCA, he or she may be fine one minute and then collapse without warning the next. Without immediate intervention, the victim almost always dies.
SCA victims need immediate help--waiting for emergency personnel to arrive at the scene can lead to delays in care and reduce the chances for survival. Here is how you can save a life:
Learn how to recognize sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). When someone is in SCA, he or she suddenly loses consciousness, normal breathing stops, and there are no signs of life.
1. Decide to help. Victims of SCA can only be saved if bystanders intervene immediately. There may not be enough time to wait for professional rescuers to arrive at the scene. The chances for survival decrease 10% with each passing minute after collapse. You may be the victim's only hope for survival.
2. Call to get professional help.
3. If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is immediately available, grab it or send someone to retrieve it and bring it to you. Apply the AED electrode pads to the person's chest as shown on diagrams that accompany the AED. Follow the voice and visual prompts. If a person is in a heart rhythm that needs to be shocked, the AED will automatically shock the heart. This electrical therapy can restore a normal heart rhythm if it is used quickly enough. Do not be concerned about harming the victim. AEDs are safe and effective and can only help. AEDs will not shock someone who does not need to be shocked.
4. If an AED is not immediately available and you are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), push down hard and fast in center of chest (2” depth, 100 pumps/minute) 30 times. Give two breaths. Repeat.
5. Remember saving victims from sudden death due to SCA depends on immediate bystander intervention.
It’s important for laypersons to undergo training in CPR and AED use because emergency personnel cannot always get to the victim’s side quickly enough. If you haven't taken a CPR-AED course it's a good idea to spend some time learning these fundamental lifesaving skills.
One of the most common reasons SCA victims do not survive is that bystanders hesitate to call, start CPR and use AEDs right away. If you want to save a life, get involved. Your actions can only help. Doing nothing is the worst option. more