June 1, 2014

3 things you can do to improve your chances of surviving a cardiac arrest

Remember there are many things which could cause a cardiac arrest – an asthma attack, severe allergy, blood loss, drowning and others.

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body and without any further help the result is fatal – but luckily there are several things you can do to improve your chances of survival.

1. Make sure your colleagues, family and neighbours know how to deal with somebody in cardiac arrest.
Remember you’ll be depending on people around for your chance of survival so they’ll need to be able to recognize and cope with a cardiac arrest situation. This includes making sure that they know to get emergency help by calling 999 as soon as possible. You’ll be surprised how many people don’t recognize a sudden collapse or finding an unresponsive person as a life-threatening emergency.

2. Get CPR
If you’re in cardiac arrest you need to be given CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) which is a combination of chest compressions and mouth to mouth breaths. This will buy you some time while the ambulance is on it’s way by providing oxygen to your lungs and blood flow around your body. The London Ambulance service estimate that about two thirds of cardiac arrests occur in the home. CPR a simple skill and is taught on all first aid courses, but it’s not the sort of thing you can learn by watching the occasional episode of Holby City or E.R. so make sure that those around you have had the training to give you the help you need.

3. Be near an AED
Getting defibrillation early is a very important link in the chain of survival for anybody in cardiac arrest. This is the application of a controlled electric shock which can help the heart regain its natural rhythm and thus is a big factor in survival. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are the machines used to give these vital shock – they are now really simple and easy to use, and becoming widespread in train stations, airports, supermarkets etc. So if there isn’t one in your area make sure there is – AEDs are available for as little as £900 each, which a bargain for saving your life.

Of course your survival and well being will also be influenced by the care you receive from the medics after resuscitation has been performed, however these three simple steps could make all the difference to you or anybody else should the worst occur and you end up in cardiac arrest.



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