Sudden cardiac arrest(SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating and erratically quivers. The victim will become unconscious and collapse unexpectedly. Death can occur within minutes if treatment isn’t provided immediately. Knowing how to treat someone experiencing SCA can help you save someone’s life. The best way to treat someone in cardiac arrest it to follow three steps. First, call 9-11, then grab an AED and/or begin CPR, and lastly, apply the AED.
When SCA occurs the chances of brain injury increases every minute. It is important to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible so you have an EMS professional nearby to assist in CPR, use the AED and transport the victim to the hospital. The average response time for an ambulance in the United States is eight minutes so while you wait an AED should be used and CPR should begin.
Grab an AED and/or Begin CPR
Depending on where the SCA victim is and how close you or another bystander are to an AED will depend on if you begin CPR or use the AED first. If SCA occurs in public such as at a healthcare facility, a school or business, an AED is likely nearby. In this case, a bystander should grab an AED while someone stays with the victim and begins CPR until the AED arrives.
If SCA occurs in a private setting such as at home or out in public where an AED is not likely to be found, CPR should be started immediately to give the victim the best chance at survival. To learn CPR, you can take anonline or in-person CPR class.
Once an AED is found, apply the AED pads on the victim and follow the instructions until EMS arrive. According to theAmerican Heart Association, 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act in an emergency. If you have never used an AED before, most offer visual and/or audio cues to guide you step-by-step to shock the victim, if needed, and help you feel confident in doing so. AED resources and manuals can be foundhere.
The first step in knowing if someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is to know what it is and what to look for. Once you know the signs to look for it is important to be prepared for how to help through CPR or an AED to give the victim the best chance at survival.
What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and quivers. This stops blood from circulating to the brain causing the brain to lose oxygen and shut down. If someone is experiencing SCA they become unconscious and collapse unexpectedly. SCA can result from:
Other medical causes
SCA is theleading cause of death in the United States with more than 356,000 adults experiencing out-of-hospital SCA. SCA most often occurs in the home, a public setting or a nursing home. Response time is important when someone is experiencing SCA.
How to Help
The response time from SCA occurring to treatment determines the likelihood of the victims survival. Help should be provided within 10 minutes for the best opportunity of survival. Depending on where the SCA occurs, help can be provided through the following steps:
3. Start CPR until an AED can be used by the bystander or EMS
Brain damage can occur within five minutes of breathing stopping so it is important to begin CPR or using an AED as soon as possible. According to the CDC, the chances of survival increase 2x-3x when CPR is administered during SCA. The average response time of an ambulance in the United States is eight minutes so it is imperative CPR is administered or an AED is used immediately.
If you are unsure how to perform CPR you can take an online or on-site CPR class to become certified. You will learn how to recognize and respond to emergencies with CPR as well as how to use an AED. Most AEDs come with verbal and audio cues to help you feel confident using it.
Did you know CPR certification needs to be renewed?
Believe it or not, CPR certification needs to be renewed as it expires every two years. CPR recertification helps to refresh your memory and renew your skills prior to your certification expiring. The American Red Cross renewal and recertification classes take less time than the standard CPR classes and allows you to maintain your certification for an additional two years. Keeping your personnel up to date with the latest training techniques can be the difference between life and death when in an emergency situation.
The Renewal Process
When renewing your CPR certification, you can choose blended or traditional learning, depending on what your CPR certification requirements include. A blended recertification involves learning online then completing a hands-on training in-person. A traditional recertification involves finding an in-person class and completing the class and hands on-training, all in-person.
Why CPR Certification and Renewal is Important
Being CPR certified and staying up to date with your renewal is important because in just one year, 475,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest and 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital environment. Bystander CPR drastically improves a victims survival rate and if the bystander is CPR certified the survival rate increases even more. If CPR is performed immediately, it can double or triple the chance of survival.
Performing CPR is important because it keeps the blood flow active in the victim. CPR is critical in the six links of what the American Heart Association call the Chain of Survival:
Recognition of cardiac arrest and calling 9-1-1
Advanced resuscitation by EMS
Post cardiac-arrest care
Renewing your certification every two years is essential but it is also important to take refresher courses each year. Additionally, the American Red Cross app helps to keep you up-to-date on your skills at the tap of a button. You can never have too much information when it comes to saving a life, so we encourage all individuals to become CPR certified and keep their certification active.
An AED is needed when sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs causing the heart to stop beating. There is a 5-minute window from when the victim collapses to when shock from an AED must be applied for the victim to survive. AEDs can be fully automatic or semi-automatic with the main difference being how the shock is applied. Regardless of which AED you are using, both offer visual and/or audio prompts to guide you.
Fully Automatic AEDs
A Fully Automatic AED reads a victim’s underlying heart rhythm and if they have a shockable rhythm the AED will administer a shock automatically. It will not shock the victim if they do not need it. The automatic version of the AED was created with the intention of reducing the delay in administering the shock by those who may not be comfortable pressing the shock button.
A Semi-Automatic AED will read the victim’s underlying heart rhythm and if they have a shockable rhythm, it will prompt the rescuer to push the shock button to administer the shock. Just like the fully automatic AED, a semi-automatic AED will not prompt the shock button to be pushed if the shock is not needed.
How AED Prompts Work
Using an AED can be intimidating but fortunately they come with visual and/or audio prompts to help you feel more comfortable and confident using one. Nearly every AED regardless of it being fully automatic or semi-automatic offer visual prompts in the form of large graphics or iconography that demonstrate how to use the AED. They also will visually show you how to administer CPR. In semi-automatic AEDs, audio prompts will instruct the user how to use the AED and will tell you when to administer the shock button.
AEDs are important because SCA can happen at any time, anywhere and at any age. Rescuers will not always be prepared but can be confident in helping to save a victim’s life through the help of an AEDs visual and audio cues.
Employee safety should always be top-of-mind for any business. When it comes to safety keeping an AED package onsite in the workplace can keep employees safe but may ultimately save a life. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can occur at any time, so it is important for your business to always be prepared.
#1. Easy to Use
AEDs are easy to use and come with both visual and audio cues to get you through an emergency situation. To ensure the AED is beneficial to your business, our packages are compact, lightweight, portable, battery-operated, have multi-language capability, have a Wi-Fi connection and are safe to use. When choosing a package be sure to add on pediatric pads if children are frequently present.
#2. SCA Can Happen at Any Time
SCA can occur at work due to a heart attack, electrocution, or asphyxiation, just to name a few. AEDs should be placed appropriately to allow for a response time in 3-5 minutes as well as:
Areas where many people work close together
Where electric-powered devices are used
Studies have shown that only 50% of employees can locate the AED in their workplace so it is important to ensure your employees know all AED locations.
#3. Survival Odds Increase
An AED increases the survival odds because they can be used before emergency medical service (EMS) arrive. Studies have shown that using an AED immediately have a 60% survival one year after SCA. Of the SCA deaths that occur each year, more than 95% of the victims die before they reach the hospital. When care is provided within five to seven minutes, including early treatment with an AED, survival rates can improve dramatically.
#4. 10,000 SCAs Occur in the Workplace Each Year
There are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the United States, with nearly 10,000 occurring in the workplace. Less than 10% of victims often survive. Having an AED onsite can make your workplace safer and can mean the difference between life or death.
#5. It’s Always Better to Have One Available if You Need it
Your business is better off taking the chance of having an AED onsite and not needing it than not having one available and needing it. Having an AED in the office brings peace of mind to your employees in case of an emergency. Death can occur within minutes if the victim doesn’t receive treatment. We have different and affordable business AED packages available depending on your business’s needs. Common packages include the Philips HeartStart OnSite AED Business Package and the ZOLL AED Plus Business Package.
Although an AED in the workplace is important, so is having your employees trained on how to use it and how to perform CPR so they are prepared if an emergency situation were to occur. CPR is easy to learn, and anyone can perform it. If CPR is performed immediately, it can double or triple the chance of survival.