Category Archives: Sudden Cardiac Arrest

What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class?

What to Expect from Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid Certification Courses

In this post we’ll preview some of the topics commonly covered, so you’ll know what to look forward to when you take the CPR/First Aid plunge. Depending on the course you take, you’ll learn CPR skills (which covers CPR for all ages, AED & choking), CPR for adults, and/or CPR for children. First Aid covers common scenarios including: bleeding, burns, poisoning, shock, and respiratory emergencies.

We’ll break it down for you in more detail, but in a nutshell, you’ll leave your CPR and First Aid classes with the knowledge, skills, experience, and confidence you need to help save a life.

Knowledge: What You Need to Know About CPR and First Aid

Today, many courses are “blended,” which means a substantial portion of the instruction occurs online. However, traditional, instructor-led training which allows participants to complete the coursework in one setting may is also available for large groups or corporate settings. Either way, once you’ve completed the required lessons and passed the accompanying skills, you’ll complete your certification with hands-on, in-person training.

Topics include how to identify sudden cardiac arrest, understanding the links in the chain of survival; the qualities of high performance CPR; the importance of personal safety and standard precautions; the steps to assess an unresponsive person; how to use an AED on an adult, child, or infant; how to place an unresponsive but breathing person in the recovery position; and how to recognize and provide treatment for a choking adult, child, or infant.  

As part of your First Aid Certification, you’ll first learn what your role as a provider is. As with CPR training, you’ll also learn how to recognize an emergency, why it’s important to offer to help, how to move an injured person safely and effectively, and the importance of standard precautions and protective barriers. You’ll also learn how to conduct primary assessments on responsive and unresponsive individuals which will, in turn, help you determine the best form of treatment.  

Skills: What You Need to Do as a CPR or First Aid Provider

Once you’ve acquired some basic CPR and First Aid knowledge, you’ll dive into the specific skills needed to perform both CPR and First Aid.

You’ll learn to perform one-person CPR, CPR with rescue breaths, Hands Only CPR, how to administer CPR as part of a 2 rescuer team, and how to administer a shock from an AED. You’ll also learn how to perform CPR on adults, children, and infants. It’s worth noting that CPR-only courses may cover adults only or infants and children. Be sure to sign up for the course that’s right for you!

Your First Aid course work will cover how to control bleeding; what to do in the event of a head, neck or back injury; how to assess and treat injuries to limbs; how to respond to burns; how to treat minor injuries; how to identify and assess altered mental status; what to do in the event someone is experiencing breathing difficulty or shortness of breath; how to respond to chest pain, severe pressure, or chest discomfort; best steps for treating a victim of poisoning; and how to respond to environmental emergencies such as hypothermia or heat stroke.

Experience: Putting CPR and First Aid Lessons into Practice

Textbook, classroom, and online learning is great, but there’s nothing like hands-on training to reinforce your coursework. As part of your CPR training, you’ll have the opportunity to practice CPR with rescue breathing, AED use, and working as part of a 2 rescuer team.

Your instructor will also review your First Aid knowledge, taking you through the steps you’ve already learned to control bleeding, Epi Pen use, patient assessment, and more.

Confidence: Being Ready to Help (While Understanding Your Limitations)

Although you’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to help someone in need, you’ll also learn about your boundaries and the limits of your abilities. Knowing what you can and cannot do is a huge part of building confidence. As a CPR/First Aid provider, your job is to help someone who is ill and injured and to keep them safe until more advanced medical treatment arrives. That’s it!

As an authorized Training Center, Cardio Partners and AED.com provides high quality and consistent training courses across the United States. Our courses are offered through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. For more information about blended or traditional CPR and First Aid training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

What’s the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Is it a Heart Attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

If you haven’t put much thought into the difference between a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), don’t feel too bad! Many people believe that a heart attack and SCA are the same thing and commonly use the terms interchangeably.

In a nutshell, a heart attack is a circulation problem and cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. Although individuals who have suffered a heart attack are more likely to experience SCA, the two cardiac events are very different! To improve survival odds, it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of the key differences between a heart attack and SCA.

What is a Heart Attack?

During a heart attack, an artery becomes clogged and cannot carry adequate oxygen to the heart. In many cases, the heart continues to beat normally but if the blockage is not quickly resolved, parts of the cardiac muscle will begin to die. Like all muscles, your heart requires oxygen-rich blood for survival. The longer a heart attack goes on without treatment, the greater the damage to the muscle.

Comedian, actor, filmmaker, and former convenience store clerk Kevin Smith (@ThatKevenSmith) made headlines last month by tweeting, “After the first show this evening, I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (aka “the Widow-Maker”). If I hadn’t canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight. But for now, I’m still above ground!”

Health.com notes that, “Recovery from a heart attack typically involves medications, changes in diet and exercise habits, and sometimes surgery. Happily, less than a month after his cardiac scare, Smith was back on Twitter announcing that he’d lost 20 pounds and that his blood pressure was “amazing.”

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

According to the Library of Congress, the heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. It pumps out two ounces of blood at every heartbeat. Each day, your heart pumps at least 2,500 gallons of blood! And if you live into your 80s, your heart will have beaten more than three billion times. That’s one hard-charging muscle, so return the favor by paying attention to the signals your heart may be sending you.

If you know what to look for, you may even be able to prevent a heart attack from occurring. Symptoms can occur hours, days, and even weeks before a heart attack. The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain
  • Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Women may experience these symptoms differently than men. Even though heart disease is the number-one killer of women in the United States, women often fail to identify their symptoms as warning signs of a heart attack.

“‘Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure,’ said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. ‘Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue’” (American Heart Association).

The key takeaway: listen to your body and don’t hesitate to seek medical help should you experience any of these symptoms.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Unlike a heart attack, SCA can occur with little or no warning, as it did for SCA survivor Rob Seymour. SCA occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Symptoms are immediate and dire: sudden loss of consciousness/responsiveness, lack of breathing, and no pulse. During a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and the organs of the body are deprived of oxygen.

When the heart stops beating, death can occur within minutes.

SCA can be caused by any number of events such as ventricular fibrillation, a sudden blow to the chest, electrocution, drowning, drug abuse, cardiomyopathy, and hypothermia. Cardiac arrest can be reversible if it’s treated in the first few minutes with CPR and by using an AED on the victim.

What You Can Do

If you witness someone suffering from a possible heart attack or SCA, call 911 immediately. The operator may be able to help you administer compression-only CPR to the victim. If possible, ask a bystander to locate an AED. To become even better equipped to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency, sign up for a first aid and CPR course. You never know when your actions could help save a life.

Get certified today. Cardio Partners and aed.com 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.

The Importance of CPR and AEDs: An SCA Survivor’s Story

Cardiac Arrest Survivor Rob Seymour Advocates for CPR Training and Public Access to AEDs

On Sunday, May 3, 2015, Philadelphians were enjoying one of those postcard-worthy spring days that city-dwellers cherish. The skies were blue, the sun was shining, the air was clear, and the temperature was just right. Runners from all over the country who had gathered in the City of Brotherly Love couldn’t have asked for a better day for the annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run.

Atlanta native Rob Seymour, then 26, and his wife Michelle were among the nearly 40,000 athletes jogging their way to the finish line at Philly’s famed Naval Yard. The popular run down the city’s main north-south thoroughfare is the largest 10-mile race in the nation and a favorite among runners.

A lifelong athlete with a passion for baseball, basketball, and running, Rob had achieved a personal record time during the 2014 race and was focusing on enjoying his fifth Broad Street Run with his wife. They were both looking forward to the celebratory tailgate with friends and family at the end of the course.

“It was a leisurely run. That year the goal was to have Michelle finish the race, so it was a different experience. It was a lot of fun. We were enjoying ourselves through the whole race,” said Rob in a recent interview.

Rob and Michelle never made it to that tailgate, however.

Just moments after Rob and his wife triumphantly crossed the finish line, he began to feel dizzy. At first, he thought it was a low blood pressure issue but soon realized that it was something far more serious.

“My vision just kept closing and things got blurrier and blurrier. I realized that it wasn’t going to stop. I called out to my wife hoping to catch myself on her. She turned around just in time to watch me drop to my knees and fall face first onto the ground,” remembers Rob.

Soon after he hit the pavement, he began seizing. Fortunately, a nearby team of paramedics saved his life. One began performing CPR while the other grabbed a portable automatic external defibrillator (AED). The device quickly recognized that his heart had gone into ventricular fibrillation (V-fib) and applied one shock. After the life-saving shock, Rob’s heart resumed its normal rhythm.

The next thing he remembers he was lying on his back, admiring the clear blue sky as the gurney he was on bumped along to the ambulance. Rob, who worked in the health insurance industry at the time, knew full well the costs associated with the ambulance ride and the treatment they were discussing. Assuming he was merely dehydrated, he found himself requesting a Gatorade and questioning the need for an IV and challenging the EMTs on whether or not he really needed to go to the hospital.

Then the paramedic told him that his heart had stopped and that he’d gone into sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

“My wife, who was in the front of the ambulance turned around and told me to just let them do their job,” recalls Rob.

During the five days that Rob spent at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, physicians ran a full battery of cardiac tests in an attempt to determine what had happened.

“They looked at everything they could look at structurally and electrophysiologically, but ultimately they couldn’t tell me what caused the situation,” remembers Rob.

He opted to have a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) implanted to constantly monitor his heart rate. Fortunately, he hasn’t had any episodes since that day in May and he has the peace of mind of knowing that the S-ICD will shock his heart back into a normal rhythm if necessary.

“If such a thing had to happen, I was certainly in the right place at the right time. I could have been out on my own on a weekend run like I had been hundreds of times. I was so fortunate that the medics and the AED were there,” says Rob.

Since Rob’s SCA, not only does he notice the location of AEDs in airports and in public buildings, but both he and his wife enrolled in a CPR class. Today, he’s an advocate for learning  CPR.

“We felt we needed to be prepared to do that [perform CPR] for someone else,” notes Rob. “We needed to know that we could keep someone alive until help arrives. It wasn’t all that difficult, but it gave us the confidence to know that we could help someone.”

Cardio Partners Account Specialist Sean Stargel, who attended elementary and high school with Rob, remembers him as an outgoing and active athlete who excelled at basketball and baseball.

“Honestly, it’s scary to hear about an AED being used on someone I’ve known as long as I’ve known Rob. I’m very grateful that there was AED present to provide the life-saving therapy that he needed,” says Sean. “We’re in this for a reason and that reason is to make sure that people are informed about the risks of SCA. We provide these devices so that people have a solution within reach.”

 AED.com is a trusted nationwide CPR training center. 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.

What You Need to Know About Young Athletes, Commotio Cordis, & Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Raising Awareness about SCA and Commotio Cordis in Youth

Many of us assume that the more than 350,000 Americans who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year are elderly or suffer from heart disease or other health conditions. While this is certainly true for many, it’s not true for all. In fact, SCA caused by commotio cordis is far more common on the high school playing field than in the halls of your local senior center.

What is Commotio Cordis?

The American Heart Association defines commotio cordis as “a phenomenon in which a sudden blunt impact to the chest causes sudden death in the absence of cardiac damage.” Although the condition was first described in laborers the mid-1700s, in the last couple of decades, commotio cordis events have occurred primarily in sports.

Today, this type of trauma is most often caused by the impact of a ball, hit, or puck to the chest. When an athlete takes a blow to the area directly over the heart at a critical time during the cycle of a heartbeat, it may cause cardiac arrest.

According to the HeartRescue Project, the risk of SCA is three times greater in competitive athletes. The average age of athletes who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest is just 17 and more than two-thirds of young athletes who die suddenly are basketball and football players. Baseball, softball, hockey, and lacrosse players, however, are especially susceptible to commotio cordis.

Even a seemingly insignificant or minor blow to the chest can cause commotio cordis, so it’s critical that members of the coaching staff, athletes, and parents are all well-informed.

Facts about Commotio Cordis

  • More than 224 cases have been reported to the US Commotio Cordis Registry since 1995. It’s estimated, however, that many more cases have not been reported.
  • Based on the Registry cases of commotio cordis the survival rate was 24%.
  • 95% of cases affected males.
  • Commotio cordis most frequently occurs in those aged between 10 and 18 years.
  • 50% of episodes occur during competitive sports, a further 25% occur during recreational sports, and the other 25% occurs during other activities that involve blunt force trauma to the chest wall.

(Source: Life in the Fast Lane)

Preventing Commotio Cordis and SCA Among Athletes

Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely prevent commotio cordis or SCA from occurring. However, by shining a light on the issue, coaches and athletes can reduce the incidence of life-threatening chest trauma and can maximize survival rates by adhering to the following recommendations.

Coach Responsibly

Young athletes should be educated about commotio cordis and should protect themselves and their teammates from taking direct blows to the chest during practice and game time. Coaching staff members should teach techniques that emphasize player safety and encourage players to turn away from the ball to avoid errant pitches, for example.

Consider Using Reduced Impact Balls

These “safety balls” are especially good options for our youngest athletes, who are in the skill-building stages of their development and training. Not only do these balls minimize injuries, but they reduce fear and improve confidence among young players.

Be Alert

If you see an athlete collapse on the field, be proactive! The American Heart Association notes that “resuscitation, once thought to be nearly universally unsuccessful, has now been demonstrated to be successful in up to 35% of commotio cordis victims.”

Learn CPR

Here at Cardio Partners, we believe in the power of CPR. As a team-building exercise, we recommending signing the whole team up for CPR training. Check out our post, 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, for more information.

Invest in an AED for Your School Gym and Your Fieldhouse

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of AEDs in the Workplace, but parents of athletes and survivors of commotio cordis would argue that the gymnasium and field house is just as important as a public hallway for automatic external defibrillator placement. In most instances, EMTs cannot reasonably be expected to arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest in less than five minutes. Well-placed public-access AEDs may save the lives of countless young athletes.


AED.com and Cardio Partners offers 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 equip your school’s athletic facilities with an AED, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com. We’d love to hear from you!

10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR

The Importance of CPR Training and Certification

If you’re still cooking up your resolutions for the new year, we have a humble suggestion for you: add CPR training to your list. CPR helps keep blood and oxygen flowing and dramatically increases the chances of survival in those who suffer a cardiac arrest.

Here are 10 great reasons why you should learn CPR this year:

Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death in the United States

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming the lives of more than 600,000 people each year.

CPR Saves Lives

While heart disease is on the rise, CPR can help save lives. According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurred in 2016. Sadly, 88% of people who suffer from a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital die. However, when properly and promptly performed, CPR can dramatically improve person’s chance of survival.  

Anyone Can Learn CPR

Anyone can learn CPR and everyone should. The American Heart Association reports that 70% of Americans feel helpless to act in the event of a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to effectively administer CPR or their training has lapsed.

The Life You Save May Be That of a Loved One

Did you know that four out of five cardiac arrests occur at home? Not only that, but many victims of sudden cardiac arrest appear healthy and may not have any known heart diseases or risk factors. Performing CPR promptly may save the life of someone you love.

Prevent Brain Death

Brain death occurs four to six minutes after the heart stops breathing. CPR effectively keeps blood flowing and provides oxygen to the brain and other vital organs, giving the victim a better chance for full recovery. Everyday Health reports that If CPR is given within the first two minutes of cardiac arrest, the chances of survival double.

CPR Makes You Smarter

Let’s face it, by the time you complete CPR training, you’ll know something that you didn’t know before you started!

You’ll Feel Confident in the Event of A Cardiac Emergency

CPR classes will equip you with the tools and the confidence you need to transform yourself from the role of bystander to lifesaver. CPR certification will give you the necessary training to make the right decisions in the event of a cardiac emergency.

CPR Classes are Fun

By nature, CPR classes are hands-on and interactive. While there may be some online training involved, course participants will learn how to properly execute chest compressions in a fun and supportive environment.

You’ll Test Your Musical Knowledge

The tempo at which you should give chest compressions lines up nicely with popular musical gems such as the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles, and “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” by country duo Big and Rich.

Join the 3 Percent

An online resource for emergency medical services personnel, EMS1, notes that “Although evidence indicates that bystander CPR and AED use can significantly improve survival and outcomes from cardiac arrest, each year less than 3% of the U.S. population receives CPR training, leaving many bystanders unprepared to respond to cardiac arrest.” Become a part of the solution and sign up for a CPR training course today.


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!

Gasping Can Indicate Survival After Cardiac Arrest

According to the AHA, more than 350,000 people experience a non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) every year, averaging to more than 1,000 victims each day*. Among those statistics, only about 10 percent of OHCA victims survive. To combat these odds, however, a quick response with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and CPR can improve the survival rate of an individual. In addition to the efforts of a rescuer, a recent study suggests gasping for air before or during CPR in an OHCA victim can actually be an indicator of survival with “favorable” brain function.

Gasping, or agonal respiration, is an individual’s natural reflex to allow for oxygen and circulation during CPR. This is said to be a marker for brainstem activity.

Remember, if someone is unresponsive and not breathing OR not breathing normally, start CPR.

According to researcher Guillaume Debaty, MD, this is the first report of its kind to stress the connection of gasping as a predictive factor to long-term survival and favorable brain function. Of those survivors, 37 percent had irregular respiration during CPR. This indicator is seen as a positive, which further solidifies the need for chest compressions during an OHCA on a gasping victim.

Following this study, researchers are recommending an emphasis be placed on identifying abnormal pattern breathing as an early sign of cardiac arrest. One of the authors of the report said it is a person’s natural response “deserving attention.” With this recent information, there is new stress on incorporating the recognition of gasping into CPR training. Researchers highlight the importance of rescuers correctly associating gasping as an indicator of cardiac arrest, rather than normal breathing.

Another goal for attributing gasping to cardiac arrest and survival rates is to help improve the lack of reporting and tracking around the phenomena in order to inform future research.

Are you thinking about CPR training? We hope so. Cardio Partners is a nationwide training center offering traditional classroom courses through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. Schedule CPR training by emailing customerservice@cardiopartners.com or by learning more here.

 Source: http://www.cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/General/UCM_477263_Cardiac-Arrest-Statistics.jsp

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, a time to recognize the severity of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and what can be done to help save others during such a tragic experience. Every year, more than 350,000 people die in the U.S. of out-of-hospital SCA. According to the Sudden Cardiac Awareness Foundation, this number is almost equal to the amount of lives claimed by Alzheimer’s disease, assault with firearms, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, HIV, house fires, motor vehicle accidents, prostate cancer and suicide combined.

Despite such a high number, SCA can be treated successfully if caught in time for CPR and defibrillation with an automatic external defibrillator (AED). If a rescuer can perform these lifesaving tasks, survival rates increase from an average of 10 percent to 50 percent.

Every business, school and home should have an AED present and accessible. As part of SCA Awareness Month, we are encouraging the implementation of AEDs by partnering with our manufacturer ZOLL Medical and giving away two free AEDs!

The ZOLL AED Plus is designed for any rescuer and is also one of the only AEDs to provide Real CPR feedback . The Real CPR Help feature, audio and on-screen prompts will help walk rescuers through performing chest compressions. It also measures the depth and rate to ensure safety.

Throughout October, go to www.aed.com and sign up to win a free ZOLL AED Plus! Winners will be announced on 10/16/17 and 10/31/17 on the AED.com Facebook and Linkedin pages.