Category Archives: CPR

Be Ready to Help in a Heartbeat

Student athletes spend hours training for competition — but how about training to save a life

SCA on Soccer Field

Studies show that 6,000 – 8,000 teens experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) annually.1 Every three days, a student athlete falls victim to sudden cardiac death.2

Student athletes are at heightened risk for SCA due to the additional strain placed on the heart during athletic conditioning and competition. Contributing factors include the influx of adrenaline, dehydration, fever, and changes in electrolytes.3

While SCA isn’t preventable, sudden cardiac death can be. All it takes is to educate students on the symptoms that can precede an SCA event and to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) readily available during athletic practices and competition.

SCA can strike without warning, but sometimes symptoms are presented. Student athletes often dismiss symptoms preceding an SCA event for fear of losing precious game time. That’s why it’s vitally important for athletes to fully understand the risks they face and feel confident speaking up to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Here are some of the warning signs:5

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat – racing or fluttering
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue

Nine out of ten victims who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute of SCA survive.4 Ensuring that your students and coaches are trained to respond to an SCA emergency could help save a life.

Download the ‘Help in a Heartbeat’ flyer to educate your team about the symptoms of SCA.

To learn more about the latest package from Cardiopartners to help your athletic teams respond to any emergency, visit: https://www.aed.com/zoll-aed-plus-athletic-director-s-package

1 “Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Teenage Athletes: What’s the Risk?”. Promise powered by Nemours Children’s Health System. https://blog.nemours.org/2017/02/sudden-cardiac-arrest-teenage-athletes-risk/

2 “Young Athletes & Sudden Cardiac Arrest”. Boston Scientific. http://www.your-heart-health.com/content/close-the-gap/en-US/heart-disease-facts/young-athletes.html

3 “Sports and Sudden Cardiac Arrest(SCA)”. Cardiosmart – American College of Cardiology. https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Conditions/Sports-and-Sudden-Cardiac-Arrest

4Source: 2017, AHA Mediagenic Survey Results; 2017, AHA with Edelman Intelligence; 2017, AHA with BLR Media; Postgrad Medical Journal, October 2007.

5”Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Student-Athletes”. California Interscholastic Federation. http://www.cifstate.org/sports-medicine/sca/index

5 Heart-SMART Goals For 2019

Achieve These 5 Goals and You Could Save a Life

Happy New Year from all of us here at Cardio Partners! We know you have your resolutions lined up but around here, we’re all about setting SMART goals. For those of you who need a refresher, that’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. There’s something so incredibly satisfying about setting a clear goal and achieving it, so let’s start the New Year with a solid action plan.

GOAL #1: Become First Aid Certified

If you’ve been putting off getting your First Aid certification or telling yourself that you’ll “get around to it,” well, now’s the time.

In fact, here’s your SMART Goal in one tidy little package: Become First Aid certified by the end of National Heart Awareness Month in February.

Visit the American Red Cross or American Heart Association to find a class near you. Classes are affordable, convenient, and flexible. Blended courses, which combine online coursework with in-person skills training, are great options for busy professionals.

GOAL #2: Get Your CPR and AED Certification

Once you have your freshly minted First Aid certification in hand, level up with CPR and AED training. To keep yourself accountable and to fulfill the Timely requirement, set a deadline for yourself! May 30 seems pretty reasonable to us. Again, to find a class near you, the American Red Cross or American Heart Association are the websites to visit.

Wondering what you’ll learn? Check out 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, or more to the point, What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class?

GOAL #3: Encourage Your Friends & Colleagues to Become First Aid & CPR Certified

Congratulations! You’ve passed the tests and made the grade! Now, encourage others to do the same. Think about the folks in your life who would benefit from becoming certified and jot down a quick list. Whether you opt to encourage one family member, start a movement within your community, or recruit 10 colleagues, make sure your goal is specific, measurable, and attainable.

We’re thinking “Encourage at least 15 friends and colleagues to register for First Aid, CPR, and AED Certification before the end of the year” sounds pretty doable.

GOAL #4: Invest in a Stop the Bleed Kit

Think of it as a graduation gift to yourself. Violence is a sad reality in America these days, so it’s best to be prepared.

Curaplex Stop the Bleed kits are intentionally designed to provide the trained rescuer with immediate access to life-saving products that can control bleeding and traumatic hemorrhaging. Basic kits start at $59.99 and the compact, vacuum-packed and tamper-proof kit includes:

A permanent marker
2 pairs of gloves, latex-free, large
1 C-A-T® tourniquet
1 emergency bandage
Pair of trauma shears, 7.5”
2 rolls of primed, compressed gauze dressing
A printed insert which shows instructions for use
Advanced kits include 1 Pack of HALO seals and QuikClot combat gauze.

GOAL #5: Start a Fundraiser for a Community AED

We recently donated a refurbished AED to the Q Center in Portland, Oregon, but as much as we’d like to, we simply can’t donate an AED to every deserving community center in the country. We can, however, share some great advice for funding for your AED program!

GotAED, an initiative of Simon’s Heart, is a crowdfunding site dedicated to placing AEDs in areas where children learn and play. The site invites schools and youth organizations to begin a campaign to fund the purchase of an AED and offers tips and suggestions to help ensure a successful crowdsourcing campaign. If your organization isn’t kid-focused, you may want to look into other popular crowdfunding platforms like CauseVox and CrowdRise.

Before you launch a crowdfunding campaign, be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws regulating nonprofit fundraising in your state. A good place to start your research is the National Council of Nonprofits.

For the full scoop, download our Grant Guide.

Have burning questions about our products and services? Ready to achieve your heart-smart goals? Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Cardio Partners: A Year in Review

Top Blogs of 2018

2018 was a busy year for all of us here at Cardio Partners and AED.com. We had the honor of joining a Texas Girl Scout as she donated an AED to her community, we checked in with SCA Survivor Rob Seymour, partnered with Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School-Brigade, attended the EMS World Expo in Nashville, and celebrated as lawmakers in Tennessee and California enacted new AED legislation.

To discover your favorite posts, dear reader, we tallied the votes, counted the comments, and checked out the analytics. Thanks for reading!

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Cardio Partners Blog Posts of 2018!

1) You Really Love Your Pets

And so do we! According to Google and Facebook, you sure do have a soft spot for your fur family! With nearly 15,000 page views and dozens of likes, CPR for Pets, with its step-by-step instructions, was a winner. Maybe our follow-up article, 8 Reasons Why Cats are Good for Your Health, which was published in late October in honor of National Cat Day, just hasn’t had time to gain traction.

2) Serious as a Heart Attack (or Sudden Cardiac Arrest)

The question, is it a heart attack or cardiac arrest? seems to be weighing heavily on the minds of our readers. What’s the difference, you ask? Here’s a little multiple choice pop quiz:

Which of the following best describes a heart attack?

  1. Don’t sneak up on me like that! You nearly gave me a heart attack.
  2. He almost had a heart attack when he found out how much dinner cost.
  3. Bacon for breakfast, bacon for lunch, bacon for dinner. Bacon, bacon, bacon. Now that’s a recipe for a heart attack!
  4. He made her heart skip a beat.

If you answered C, then you’ve been a loyal follower of the Cardio Partners blog! (Or you’re a doctor, an EMS professional, or an employee of Cardio Partners.) In a nutshell, a heart attack occurs with a blockage in a coronary artery blocks the flow of blood to the heart. A cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical system of the heart unexpectedly stops working.

3) Arcane Defibrillation and AED History is Fascinating

Perhaps the most surprising entry on this list is the History of Defibrillation, Defibrillators, and Portable AEDs. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who could resist the headline: “From Dogs to Tablespoons to ZOLL, AEDs Have Come a Long Way.” If you missed out the first time around, be sure to read up on the “Self-starter For a Dead Man’s Heart.”

4) Not All CPR is Created Equally

We can’t think of anything more frightening than performing CPR on a child or infant. It seems as though our readers feel the same way. Not only is this one of our top 5 posts of 2018, but readers spent more time reading this post than any other on this list. In this post, we covered the differences between infant, child, and adult CPR and also discussed the pediatric chain of survival.

5) Take Our Word For It: You Should Learn CPR

Plenty of Googlers were looking for reasons to learn CPR this year. Our post, 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, made it to the top of the charts!

6) Statistics Take the Cake

In case you missed the original post, here are 6 Shocking Statistics About Cardiac Arrest and AEDs, plus one extra for good measure:

  1. Each year, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur in the United States.
  2. Among middle-aged adults treated for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), 50% had no symptoms before the onset of arrest.
  3. 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest every year and 17.5 million people across the globe die from cardiovascular disease each year.
  4. 10,000 SCAs occur in the workplace each year.
  5. 68.5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home.
  6. 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survive when bystander CPR is administered.
  7. SCA kills more Americans than lung cancer, breast cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined.

7) You’re CPR-Curious

We gave you 10 great reasons why you should learn CPR, yet plenty of you wanted more information. What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class was also a big ratings winner. Read about it all you like, but nothing takes the place of the real thing. Sign up for a CPR, AED and First Aid training course near you!

8) It’s a Trip, It’s Got a Funky Beat, and I Can Bug Out to It!

We had some fun this summer curating our very own playlist, CPR Songs: Greatest Hits to Save Lives. From the Bee Gees’ rather obvious choice, “Stayin’ Alive,” to Bey and Jay’s “Crazy in Love” to JT’s  “Rock Your Body,” and just about everything in between, we found plenty of tunes set to a heart-thumping 100 to 120 beats per minute.

9) The Chain of Survival Really is a Thing

Why is the chain of survival so important, you ask? Because knowing and understanding each link in the chain can dramatically improve the survival odds of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association the five links in the adult out-of-hospital Chain of Survival are:

  1. Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  2. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions
  3. Rapid defibrillation
  4. Basic and advanced emergency medical services
  5. Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care

10) A Shout-out to our Friends at Brentwood Fire and Rescue

The good people of Facebook voted with their “likes” and our final nod goes to the fabulous folks at the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department. In “What You Need to Know to Stop the Bleed and Save a Life,” we shared a few tips and shared some additional information on the Curaplex Stop the Bleed Kit.

Have a safe New Year and a wonderful 2019! Questions about our products and services? Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

10 Reasons Why AED Drills Are Important in Schools

Discover why AED drills are important and learn how to run an effective drill.

AEDs can save lives, but only if educators and administrators are prepared to take action. Tornado, fire, lockdown, and even active shooter drills are the norm for most schools across the country, but when is the last time you scheduled a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)/AED drill?

In this post, we’ll discuss the reasons why SCA/AED drills are important in schools and we’ll give you the tools you need to create an effective drill.

Why are AED Drills Important? SCA is Shockingly Common in Schools.

A couple of weeks ago, we covered the importance of AEDs in schools. However, if you’re a by-the-numbers kind of person, here are a few statistics about SCA in schools and in children under the age 18:

  1. In the United States, 1 in 25 schools experiences an SCA event each year.
  2. In 2017, 7,037 children died from cardiac arrest.
  3. Schools are community gathering places, and adults are even more likely to suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a school setting than young adults.
  4. The hospital survival rate of students who experience SCA in a school with an AED is approximately 70%.
  5. The hospital survival rate of students who experience SCA in a school without an AED is approximately 8%.
  6. Student-athletes are more than 2 times as likely to die from SCA than non-athletes.
  7. 66% of the deaths caused by SCA in children occur during regular exercise.
  8. SCA caused by commotio cordis is the most common cause of traumatic death in youth baseball.
  9. Survival decreases an astounding 10% every minute until a defibrillator shock is applied.
  10. SCA in young people can be caused by Long QT Syndrome, commotio cordis, or congenital heart disease.

Sources: American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Resuscitation Journal, Close the Gap, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, National Institute of Health, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

How to Run an Effective AED Drill: Create, Practice, and Review.

Developing and running effective AED drills are an essential part of your school’s emergency plan. Because the single most important contributing factor for survival of SCA is minimizing the time from collapse to defibrillation —  survival decreases an astounding 10% every minute until a shock is applied — knowing what to do and how to do it quickly may save a life of a student, parent, or school employee.

Regularly scheduled drills can test your team and your student body’s readiness and their ability to act quickly and to respond appropriately in the event of a cardiac emergency.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s publication Saving Lives in Schools and Sports recommends developing and conducting practice drills for your cardiac Emergency Action Plan (EAP); it’s the best way to make sure it works! Then, once you’ve executed your drill, be sure that you conduct a detailed post-drill review so you and your team can make changes based on real-life scenarios.

Planning Your AED Drill

Here’s a convenient checklist for your annual or semi-annual AED drill:

  • Inform your team that you’ll be conducting a drill in the next week or two so they have an opportunity to review your EAP.
  • Make sure your staff is trained in adult, child, and infant CPR.
  • Choose a scenario that fits your setting.
  • Designate an observer/proctor to administer the drill.
  • Develop a drill worksheet (this worksheet should include the scenario for the drill, the time the drill commenced, when the victim was found, time the rescuer called 911, when chest compressions started, when other bystanders arrived on the scene, when the AED arrived on the scene, when AED training pads were applied, and the names of each individual performing the actions).
  • You’ll need an appropriately-sized CPR Manikin, AED trainer, AED, and a timing device.

Day of AED Drill

On the day of your school’s AED drill, your designated observer will place the CPR manikin in an appropriate, visible location. As soon as the manikin has been observed and someone has activated the EAP, the observer should note the time and read the scenario to the responders.

As soon as the responders have obtained the AED from its usual location, the observer should hand the rescuers the AED trainer to continue the drill (if possible, ask an assistant to return the emergency-ready AED to its clearly marked and accessible location). Do not use your emergency-ready AED for the drill! During this time the observer will record times and responses. If possible, the observer should take a video recording of the drill for post-drill evaluation.

After Drill Review

First, congratulate your team on a job well done! Then give everyone some time to process and think about their part in the drill. After everyone has had a day to think about how things went, bring your staff members together for a detailed analysis of your AED drill. Ask your educators what they thought went well. If possible, review the video of the drill. Ask your observer to note what the rescuers did right and what they could have been done better. Consider which parts of the drill went smoothly and which parts were more challenging.

If you make changes to your emergency action plan, be sure to communicate those changes and schedule another drill for later in the school year!

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

The Importance of AEDs in Schools

10 Facts About Automated External Defibrillators in Schools

With students across the country settling in for another year of learning, now is the perfect time to discuss the importance of AEDs in schools. Last week we covered the differences in adult, child, and infant CPR as well as the pediatric chain of survival and this week we’ll cover some interesting facts and statistics about AEDs in schools.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. Often, this is caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF). VF is an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system, and when this occurs blood stops pumping to the brain, heart, and the rest of your vital organs. Bystanders who promptly begin CPR and defibrillation can keep oxygenated blood flowing throughout the body and preserve life.

Although sudden cardiac death (SCD) is shocking and leaves its mark on survivors, regardless of the age of the victim, it’s particularly tragic when school-aged children are the victims of SCD. The scars left by SCD on families, schools, and communities can be profound. Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we’re doing our best to raise awareness about SCA and to advocate for AEDs in the home, on the job, and in our schools.

Thousands of Children Die From Cardiac Arrest Each Year

According to the American Heart Association’s latest figures, 7,037 children die from cardiac arrest each year. When you consider that most American children spend between 175 and 180 days in school each year and receive between 900 and 1,000 hours of instructional time per year (Center for Public Education) it’s critically important for our public schools to have AEDs readily available.

SCA is Shockingly Common

It’s hard to believe, but two in fifty high schools in the United States can expect an SCA event each year.

Most States Do Not Require AEDs in Public Schools

Although Tennessee, Cardio Partners’ home state, just joined the ranks of states that require AEDs in public high schools, fewer than 20 states have enacted legislation requiring AEDs in public schools. Just nine of those states provide funding for AEDs.

AEDs in Schools Dramatically Improve the Hospital Survival Rate

The hospital survival rate of students who suffer from cardiac arrest in a school with an AED is approximately 70%, compared with only approximately 8% in the overall population of school-age children (American College of Cardiology).

Young Athletes are More Likely to Experience Sudden Cardiac Death than Non-Athletes

In the United States, a young competitive athlete dies suddenly every three days. Young athletes are more than twice as likely to experience SCD than young non-athletes (Close the Gap). The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that two-thirds of the deaths caused by SCA in children occur during exercise or activity. In fact, SCA is the leading cause of death in young athletes.

Every Second Counts

The American College of Cardiology notes that, “The most important contributing factor for survival of sudden cardiac arrest is the time from collapse to defibrillation. Survival decreases 10% every minute until a shock is applied.”

Anyone Can Use an AED

Studies indicate that students without any prior CPR or AED training can accurately use an AED as directed. AEDs are, by design, easy to use. By following an AED’s simple, clear voice prompts, bystanders can perform the crucial steps that can save a life.

The Biggest Hurdle for Many Schools is Cost

Many companies, including Cardio Partners and AED.com, offer affordable AED packages to schools. These packages may include an AED, compliance management, a wall cabinet, AED pads, a rescue-ready kit, signage, and more. CPR and AED training courses are also available.

Finding the Best Location for Your AED is Important

Your school’s AED can’t save a life if no one can find it! Finding the best placement for your AED is crucial. Locating an AED in a highly visible and public location can mean the difference between life and death.

Good Samaritan Laws Protect Bystanders

You should never be afraid to lend assistance to someone experiencing SCA. Although not all states mandate the placement of AEDs in schools, all 50 states have enacted Good Samaritan laws to protect bystanders who use an AED to resuscitate a victim of SCA.

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

What are the Differences Between Infant, Child, and Adult CPR?

Learn the Pediatric Chain of Survival and Discover the key differences between Pediatric and Adult CPR

We’re the first to admit that the idea of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an infant or child is pretty scary. Although all of us here at Cardio Partners hope that you’ll never be called upon to perform CPR on a child, it’s important to understand the very significant differences between the three types of CPR.

Because a child’s physiology, musculature, bone density, and strength are different from an adult’s, CPR is performed differently. In fact, if adult CPR is performed on a child, it could do more harm than good.

Pediatric Chain of Survival

Earlier this month, we discussed Why the Chain of Survival is So Important, and in this post we’ll cover not only the differences between adult and pediatric CPR, but also the differences in the Chain of Survival for adults and children.

The Pediatric Chain of Survival is a sequence of events this is most likely to save the life of a young victim of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Unlike the adult Chain of Survival, which begins with early recognition and call for emergency assistance, the pediatric Chain of Survival dictates that high-quality CPR start immediately. This is because children are more likely to suffer from SCA caused by an obstructed airway or shock, so it’s important to be able to recognize and prevent respiratory problems or cardiac arrest before they occur. Only after performing CPR for a full  two minutes should the rescuer then call 911.

The Pediatric Chain of Survival consists of:

  1. Prevention of Cardiac Arrest
  2. Early, High-Quality CPR
  3. Rapid Activation of the Emergency Response System
  4. Effective Advanced Life Support
  5. Integrated Post-Cardiac Arrest Care

(Source: American Heart Association)

An Overview of the Three Different Types of CPR

Adult CPR

If you’re ever called upon to perform CPR on an adult, call 911 immediately before starting CPR. Check for a pulse and then begin CPR with chest compressions. If you’re not CPR-certified, a 911 operator can guide you through hands-only CPR. Push hard and fast on the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Check out our Greatest Hits to Save Lives playlist to get a sense of the rhythm.

The compression depth for adults should be at least two inches and the chest should recoil completely between compressions. If you are CPR-certified, remember to use the ratio of 30 compressions to two rescue breaths. Use an AED if one is available.

Child CPR

Pediatric resuscitation protocols apply to infants less than 1 year of age and children up to the age of puberty or those weighing less than 121 pounds (Merck Manuals).

Although CPR for children is very similar to adult CPR, rescuers should start CPR before calling 911. If you’re the only person around and you need to make a choice between starting CPR and dialing 911, go for the CPR! Typically, children are more resilient than adults and their chances of survival are much higher if you begin CPR immediately.

After two minutes of CPR with rescue breaths, call 911. Because a child’s airway is more fragile than an adult’s, use caution when providing rescue breaths and be careful not to tilt the head back too far. When providing chest compressions, use one or two hands, depending on the size of the child. The depth of compressions should be only one and a half inches. The ratio of compressions to rescue breaths, 30:2, is the same for children as for adults.

If an AED is available, apply pediatric pads and use it after five cycles of CPR.

Infant CPR

Great care should be taken when performing CPR on an infant. Although a baby’s bones are more flexible, they’re also much more delicate. First, confirm that the baby is unconscious. Do not shake the baby; instead, shout and tap or flick the soles of the infant’s feet.

As with older children, you’ll want to begin CPR on an infant before calling 911. Of course, if there’s another person at the scene, ask them to call.

Check for a pulse on the inside of the upper arm and begin CPR immediately if you’re not able to detect a pulse. When providing rescue breaths to an infant, gently tilt the head so that the baby’s nose appears to be sniffing the air — this is known as the “sniffing position.” Do not tip the head back too far! Be very gentle when providing rescue breathing; don’t use the full force of your lungs to expel air. Instead, use your cheeks and puff air into the infant’s mouth and nose.

When providing compressions, use two fingers at the center of the baby’s chest. Compressions should be about an inch and a half deep at a rate of 30 compressions to two rescue breaths.

If an AED is available, apply pediatric pads and use it after five cycles of CPR. According to the American Red Cross, you may use an AED configured for an adult if pediatric settings or pads are not available.

(Sources: American Red Cross and National CPR Association)

To learn more about our CPR and AED Training or to purchase an AED with pediatric capabilities, visit aed.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Why is the Chain of Survival So Important?

Understanding the 5 Links in the Chain of Survival Can Improve Outcomes for SCA Survivors

The Chain of Survival is a metaphorical depiction of a series of critical actions that rescuers (bystanders or paramedics) need to take to improve the likelihood of survival following a cardiac arrest. Why is it so important? Put simply, knowing and understanding the five key “links” in the chain can vastly reduce mortality rates.

A majority of SCA survivors receive immediate help from bystanders. In fact, the time between the onset of arrest symptoms and care determines the likelihood of survival. Whether you’re a trained medical professional or a layperson, understanding the Chain of Survival can make all the difference.

Need more compelling evidence? The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation reports that “If treatment is not provided within 10 minutes, the survival rate is close to zero. Because minutes count, the public plays a crucial role in saving lives threatened by SCA.”

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the 5 links in the adult out-of-hospital 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

Early Recognition and Call for Emergency Assistance

The first link, early recognition of cardiac arrest and the prompt activation of the emergency response protocol, is absolutely essential. When an out-of-hospital cardiac emergency occurs, dial 911 immediately. If the incident should occur on a job site or in a professional setting, the internal alert system should also be triggered, which will improve the odds obtaining of skilled, on-site assistance and equipment as soon as possible.

If someone reports experiencing pain or discomfort in the chest, jaw, neck or back, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, or discomfort in the arm or shoulder, call 911. If an individual is unresponsive and is not breathing, call 911.

If possible, send someone to retrieve the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED).

What’s the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest? Well, in short, a heart attack is caused by a blockage in a vein or artery and SCA is caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart. Cardiac arrest may be caused by a heart attack, SCA, drowning, electrocution, or an obstructed airway. To make matters even more confusing, symptoms of a heart attack may vary and can be different for men than for women.

Don’t hesitate to call 911! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Prompt CPR with Chest Compressions

The second link dictates that CPR should commence immediately after a cardiac arrest has occurred. If you do not know how to perform CPR, a 911 operator will talk you through the procedure. If you are not trained in CPR, use hands-only CPR by pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. The compression depth for adults should be at least two inches and the chest should recoil completely between compressions.

Anyone can perform CPR, and if possible it should be done without interruption until skilled emergency medical responders arrive.

Remember, any assistance is better than no assistance at all.

Rapid Defibrillation

As soon as an AED becomes available, the rescuer should place the device next to the victim. Simply turn it on and follow the visual and audio prompts. If a shock is advised, stand clear and make sure no one is in contact with the patient, then administer the shock.

The Zoll AED Plus, for example, will inform the rescuer when they are or aren’t pushing hard or fast enough. It’ll even show you the depth of each compression in real time. The AED Plus offers support to help rescuers successfully complete the Chain of Survival.

Basic and Advanced Care

The fourth link, basic and advanced emergency medical services, refers to the rapid response of highly trained and equipped EMS personnel who can respond to the patient, administer medications, and offer advanced respiration procedures and interventions as needed. This step is often dependent upon the very first link in the chain: early recognition and call for emergency assistance!

Advanced Life Support and Post Cardiac Arrest Care

The fifth and final link, Advanced Life Support and Post Cardiac Arrest Care, is best left to medical professionals. It may involve a multidisciplinary care team composed of cardiologists, physical therapists, and dieticians.

Ready to learn CPR or First Aid? AED.com and Cardio Partners is a trusted nationwide CPR training center. We offer CPR, First Aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training courses in all 50 states in traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com. We’d love to hear from you!