Tagged with 'Sudden Cardiac Arrest'

What is the best way to treat SCA?

What is the best way to treat SCA?

What is the best way to treat SCA?

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.

Call 9-1-1

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 an online or in-person CPR class.

Online CPR & Safety Training

On-Site CPR & Safety Training

Apply the AED

Once an AED is found, apply the AED pads on the victim and follow the instructions until EMS arrive. According to the American 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 found here.

How can I tell if someone is experiencing SCA?

How can I tell if someone is experiencing SCA?

How can I tell if someone is experiencing SCA?

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:

  • Cardiac causes
  • External causes
  • Other medical causes

SCA is the leading 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:

1. Call 9-1-1

2. Find a nearby AED (if possible):

 

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.

On-Site CPR Training

Online CPR Training

How can I keep my employees calm during a SCA emergency?

How can I keep my employees calm during a SCA emergency?

How can I keep my employees calm during a SCA emergency?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Assuming stats will hold steady — and not increase as a result of COVID-19 — more than 350,000 Americans will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest this year, many of them while at work. 

Which is all the more reason to stay calm and stop SCA.

Purchase AEDs for your office

Nothing brings more peace of mind than a readily accessible automated external defibrillator (AED). An AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during SCA. Modern AEDs are easy to operate, even for someone with no medical background.

Spring for training

You know what breeds calm? Confidence and know-how. Schedule CPR/AED training for your entire team. Blended learning options offer affordable and flexible training opportunities for your employees. 

Take a deep breath

We humans have a tendency to hold our breath or take quick, shallow breaths when we’re experiencing a stressful situation. And let’s face it, witnessing SCA is one of the scariest, most stressful things that could possibly happen in the workplace. Our brains need oxygen to function and focus. It’s absolutely essential to keep on breathing, so your employees can help those who can’t! 

Call for help

Call 911! The operator will offer guidance and support until emergency responders arrive.

Be laser-focused

It’s hard to think clearly when something as life-threatening as SCA is happening right in front of you. However, when an emergency happens, it’s vital to keep your wits about you. Encourage your employees to focus on the big-picture details: who, what happened, when, where and how bad is it. Then determine whether or not there are any pre-existing conditions, document the steps your team took to help the victim, and gather any other data that might be useful for first responders. These kinds of details will help the medical team and it’ll keep your employees focused.

Speak slowly

Project calm to your team by speaking loudly — don’t shout! — and slowly. Offer reassurances and make sure you’re messaging clearly and confidently. Your team will follow your capable lead.

Keep it cool. Cardio Partners offers CPR/AED/first aid training courses in all 50 states. To learn more about our traditional or blended courses, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

What’s the Connection Between Stress and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Stress and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Stress and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?  

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? Sponsored by The Health Resource Network (HRN), a nonprofit health education organization, Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, promote successful coping strategies, and dispel harmful misconceptions and misperceptions about stress.

High-Stress Levels Can Be Hard on Your Heart  

We’ve all felt our hearts race when an unexpected (and unexpectedly ugly) bill rears its nasty head or when the kids refuse to submit those online assignments on time. But did you know that high levels of stress drive up your risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems including high cholesterol, blood clots, and even cardiac arrest?

Stress doesn't just affect your sense of wellbeing and calm, stress can even affect you on a cellular level! Long-term stress and stress disorders can lead to a wide range of illnesses—from headaches to stomach issues to depression—and yes, even strokes and heart disease. Understanding the mind/stress/health connection can help you better manage stress and improve your health and well-being.

The American Heart Association notes that “More research is needed to determine how stress contributes to heart disease — the leading killer of Americans. But stress may affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity, and overeating.” 

What is Stress?

Basically, it’s the fight or flight response that’s hardwired into our nervous system. It’s the response that keeps us safe and gets us moving quickly when there’s an immediate threat — like running from a charging dog, fire, or oncoming object.

“When you perceive a threat, stress hormones rush into your bloodstream—increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Other hormones also suppress functions like digestion and the immune system, which is one of the reasons why chronic stress can leave you more vulnerable to illness” (Federal Occupational Health).

Although danger is a common stress trigger, toxic work environments, uncertain finances, traumatic experiences, family stress, or anxiety can also lead to chronic stress. A bad day at the office or a one-off disagreement with a loved one won't damage your health in the long run, but chronic stress can dampen your immune response and put you at an increased risk for cardiovascular and other diseases.

What Can You Do To Manage Your Stress Levels?

Here are a few great ways to manage stress safely and effectively (they all just happen to be heart-healthy choices, too!):

  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga with a friend
  • Drink a cup of herbal tea
  • Call a friend
  • Go for a walk
  • Snuggle with a pet
  • Eat a piece of fruit
  • Play an instrument

If your stress is pressurized like a firehose, ask for help. Look for a local or online stress management class or find a therapist who specializes in stress disorders. You don’t have to tackle this on your own!

Questions about AEDs, bleeding control kits, or first aid classes? Contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 learn more. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

“You nearly caused me to suffer sudden cardiac arrest!” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “You nearly gave me a heart attack!” does it?

We realize we’re not going to remove that particular misleading nugget from our lexicon, but we can point out the differences — and connections — between SCA, heart attacks, and heart disease.

Heart attacks (which are often caused by heart disease) and sudden cardiac arrest are extremely serious medical events requiring immediate medical attention. However, many people don’t fully understand the differences between these common killers. 

What’s a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is a circulatory problem that occurs when blood flow to the heart is severely reduced or blocked.

Serious as a heart attack, in fact.

During a heart attack, the heart may continue to beat normally but if the blockage is not quickly resolved, parts of the heart muscle begin to die due to lack of oxygen. The longer a heart attack goes on without treatment, the greater the damage to the muscle. 

Heart attacks occur more often in individuals with a history of heart disease.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Symptoms can occur hours, days, and even weeks before the heart attack itself. According to the American Heart Association, 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 also experience the following warning signs:

  • Pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Unusual fatigue

What’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem caused when an individual’s heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, preventing blood and oxygen from flowing to vital organs. 

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

SCA is always as serious as a heart attack! 

Without CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing to vital organs and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the heart back into a healthy rhythm, SCA is always fatal.

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

A heart attack often telegraphs its arrival with clearly defined symptoms; however, SCA occurs with little or no warning. Symptoms are immediate and critical: 

  • Sudden loss of consciousness/responsiveness
  • Absence of breathing
  • No pulse.

Here’s a connection between heart disease and SCA that you should know about: People who have suffered a heart attack are at an increased risk of experiencing SCA. 

The good news is that cardiac arrest can be reversible if treated in the first few minutes with CPR and by using an AED on the victim.

What You Can Do to Assist Someone Who is Experiencing a Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest

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 and use the device immediately. 

You never know when your actions could help save a life.

To learn more about our CPR and AED courses or schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

The importance of AEDs in fitness centers and gyms

Making sure your gym or fitness center has an automated external defibrillator (AED) can mean the difference between life and death. AEDs are small, portable, and easy-to-use life-saving devices that can be used to shock a person’s heart back into rhythm if it has stopped or is beating irregularly.

Reason #1: SCA is more common than you think it is

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year. 

Reason #2: Strenuous Exercise Raises Short-term Risk of Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest 

And many of these cardiac arrests occur while people are pumping iron or pounding the treadmill. A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that about 16% of public, indoor sudden cardiac arrests reported over a 12-year period occurred at an exercise facility.

But that’s not an excuse for ditching your New Year’s Resolutions. Fitness is key to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, physical exercise remains one of the best ways to lower overall heart disease risk. So get moving!

Reason #3: AEDs Improve Survival Odds in Fitness Centers

Get this: that study also found that people who suffered cardiac arrest in traditional exercise facilities had a significantly higher survival rate compared to people who were in non-traditional exercise facilities (like community centers, church gyms, and dance studios).

What’s the difference? Well, fitness centers and gyms are more likely to have AEDs — and people on staff who are trained to use them — than other locations. Gyms are also more likely to have multiple AEDs throughout the facility. Poolside, cycling studios, weight rooms, cardio floors, and by the entrance are all common gym AED locations.

Reason #4: Your State May Require One

Many states require fitness facilities and gyms to have an AED on site. Any health club that does not have an AED — even if your state hasn’t mandated them — runs the risk of being seen as acting with indifference to the welfare and safety of its patrons and members. In other words, it’s your duty of care. 

Reason #5: Liability Protection

Facilities with AEDs may have lower insurance premiums because they’re less likely to endure liability lawsuits filed by grieving families.

To find out which AED is right for your gym or fitness facility or to schedule a training, visit our blog, call our team at 866-349-4362, or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.