Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can affect any person in any public setting at any time. SCA occurs when the heart’s electrical activity becomes chaotic and stops pumping blood through the victim’s body. Australia experiences thousands of SCA cases a year and without proper treatment the chances of survival are minimal.
Thus, if you witness a person experiencing SCA in public, you simply must follow these imperative steps:
1. Call 000 immediately
Even if you are unsure if it is a case of SCA, you must immediately call an ambulance. The emergency services operator should be able to guide you through the next stages whilst you await the ambulance. What’s more, hopefully the public space will technology that the operator can help you use on the victim.
2. Identifying SCA
If the individual has lost consciousness, you can identify a case of SCA through:
● Checking for a response: Tap the victim’s shoulders and speak to see if you can get a response from them;
● Check their pulse: A person experiencing SCA will have no pulse so be sure to check for it if they are not responding (via neck or wrist);
● Check their breathing: Listen for breathing near their mouth or nose and see if their chest is lifting up and down.
If they fail to respond, have no pulse and are not breathing, this means they are experiencing SCA.
3. Initiate CPR
When someone is , you must immediately commence CPR. CPR includes pressing down hard on the victim’s heart to ciruclate blood and continue circulation through their body until the ambulance arrives, as well as support their breathing by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Regardless of whether you have had CPR training or not you can still administer it to the individual by:
1. Placing the hand’s heel on the individual’s breastbone with your other hand before interlocking your fingers;
2. Then go on to position your shoulders above your hands;
3. Commence pressing down on the individual’s chest, about a third of the way, fast and hard 30 times in a consistent rhythm – you can count or sing to maintain the rhythm.
4. If you are able/feel comfortable doing so, perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with two breaths each time you perform 30 chest presses;
5. Remember, you cannot harm them any more by performing CPR and are potentially saving their life, so don’t worry about hurting their chest or anything of that relevance – just do what you can to perform effective CPR!
4. Use the AED
When someone experiences SCA, their heart rhythm can potentially be corrected through a shock provided by an automated external defibrillator (AED).
AEDs are typically found in public spaces with a lot of foot traffic and are easy for members of the public to operate on someone experiencing SCA. The machine can determine whether an individual needs a shock or not and will never administer one if it is unnecessary.
5. Continu providing CPR & using the AED until the ambulance arrives
To continue the chances of survival, it is imperative to continue administering CPR and AED treatment until an ambulance arrives. Here, the emergency services will take over, and provide ongoing support that will hopefully see the victim survive this unfortunate event.
Providing CPR and AED treatment to an SCA victim can be extremely distressing. However, it is important to focus on your breath, remain calm and provide the treatments necessary to increase their chances of survival. Read more about the best inventory management software apps sarkepo
Act fast and with a clear mind – this can make all the difference when it comes to saving a life!