4 Point Plan To Use After Cardiac Arrest

By Bill Casserley

Evidence suggests that those people who suffer an out of hospital cardiac arrest have a very slim chance of survival. This is mainly because that for every minute that passes without help the casualty’s chances of survival can drop by as much as 10%. The average response time to a non-breathing casualty in London (UK) is eight minutes, which is one of the fastest in the world. Realistically first aiders need to put the chain of survival into action.

A cardiac arrest means that a person’s heart has stopped and the breathing system has been shut down. The event itself needs to be spotted early because it only takes a gap of two minutes to cause irreversible brain damage. Most people who survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest benefit from fast thinking first aiders, who are capable of detecting quickly whether or not a casualty is breathing. This is by no means easy, and does take a level of formal training to learn.

It is essential that cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is initiated whilst awaiting the arrival of the paramedics. This is the only tool a first aider has in order to circulate oxygen around the body of someone who has stopped breathing. The process combines artificial heart compressions with the application of rescue breaths, which mimics the roles of both the respiratory and circulatory systems. CPR is crucial when putting the chain of survival into action, which often proves the difference between life and death.

The next key in the chain of survival requires the availability of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). This piece of kit is deigned to pick up on the hearts signals, and then shock it back into life, if the rhythm is undetectable. Statistics have highlighted that a person can have as little as a 2% chance of survival when taking into consideration the average response time from the paramedics. Similar studies have also found that a casualty can have as high as a 90% chance of surviving a cardiac arrest if they are defibrillated within the first minute. These figures couldn’t be further apart, which really goes to demonstrate the power of these machines.

The final part of the chain requires the availability of post resuscitation care. CPR and the use of an AED can be a real lifer saver, but ultimately the casualty will have suffered a near death event, and will need a good team of doctors to take care of them. This is why it is always pivotal to call the emergency services at the onset of the event. There are numerous examples where people have been caught up in the moment, and actually forgoten to make the call. This can be a life changing mistake, as the paramedic crews have a whole wealth of extra tools to help a cardiac arrest casualty recover. First aider’s as the name suggest only provide immediate assistance in order to stabilize someone, whilst awaiting the arrival of the emergency services.

Bill Casserley is an experienced first aider, who truly believes “life is for learning”. Could you put the chain into action? If not then visit the 3 day first aid course blog @ http://www.train-aid.co.uk for video tutorials.

4 Point Plan To Use After Cardiac Arrest