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Experience: I saved a man's life while singing Stayin' Alive

Experience: I saved a man's life while singing Stayin' Alive | First Aid Training |
Sharon Thorneywork: 'It was only when I arrived at work that it hit me. I started to cry, overwhelmed at what had just happened'
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Resuscitation Council UK Training in mouth-to-mouth ventilation

Some instructors have decided not to teach mouth-to-mouth ventilation during resuscitation training.

The current Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines include mouth-to-mouth ventilation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for both laypeople and healthcare professionals, but compression-only CPR is encouraged for those who are untrained, unable or unwilling to perform mouth-to-mouth ventilation. Compression-only CPR is better than no CPR, and this is the primary message in high-profile media campaigns in the UK that target people who have not been trained in CPR.

Resuscitation Council (UK) Guidelines 2010 for Basic Life Support state that studies have shown that compression-only CPR may be as effective as combined ventilation and compression in the first few minutes after non-asphyxial arrest. However, chest compression combined with rescue breaths is the method of choice for CPR by trained lay-rescuers and professionals and should be the basis for lay-rescuer education.

Compression-only CPR has potential advantages over chest compression and ventilation, particularly when the rescuer is an untrained or partially-trained layperson. However, there are situations where combining chest compressions with ventilation is better, for example in children, in asphyxial arrests, and in prolonged resuscitation attempts. Therefore, CPR should remain standard care for healthcare professionals and the preferred target for laypeople, the emphasis always being on minimal interruption in chest compressions. A simple, education-based approach is recommended:

Ideally, full CPR skills should be taught to all citizens.Initial or limited-time training should always include chest compression.Subsequent training (which may follow immediately or at a later date) should include ventilation as well as chest compression.

CPR training for citizens should be promoted, but untrained laypeople should be encouraged to give chest compressions only, when appropriate with telephone advice from an ambulance dispatcher.

Those laypeople with a duty of care, such as first-aid workers, lifeguards, and childminders, should be taught chest compression and ventilation.

Resuscitation Council (UK) Guidelines 2010 for In-hospital resuscitation state that if there is no airway and ventilation equipment available, giving mouth-to-mouth ventilation should be considered. If there are clinical reasons to avoid mouth-to-mouth contact, or you are unwilling or unable to do this, do chest compressions until help or airway equipment arrives. A pocket mask or bag-mask device should be available rapidly in all clinical areas.

Current guidelines recommend starting CPR with chest compressions and this helps avoid the need for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in most clinical situations as airway equipment should be available rapidly. The Resuscitation Council (UK) recognises that there will be circumstances where mouth-to-mouth ventilation is not appropriate. But there are occasions when giving mouth-to-mouth ventilation could be life-saving.

Mouth-to-mouth ventilation is an important resuscitation skill that is relatively easy to teach and learn, and should be included in resuscitation training for healthcare professionals.

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'OK Glass, Save A Life.' The Application Of Google Glass In Sudden Cardiac Death

'OK Glass, Save A Life.' The Application Of Google Glass In Sudden Cardiac Death | First Aid Training |

Google Glass has made its way into healthcare.  Its use in the operating room and in medical education has been profiled here.  Yet the magic of Glass will be found in the applications that can make this “technology” into real-world solutions for health and medicine.  It’s a bit like the smart phone and how its realization is a function of the countless apps that bring the device to life.

Inside The Operating Room

Christian Assad, MD has taken the next step with Glass and developing a practical app that can turn Glass into a real life-saver. He recently profiles this application on his blog and I believe it’s an important turn of events that showcase just how technology can be applied to medicine and public health issues.  Here’s how it presents the concept in his blog–Google Glass and augmented CPR:


1)   Person walking, witnesses someone passing out (syncope)

2)   Individual says “OK GLASS, CPRGLASS”
A) Instructions appear ABC (Assess Airway, Breathing and Circulation)
B) “OK GLASS, No Pulse!”      (An algorithm developed by Hao-Yu Wu et al at MIT demonstrate how a normal camera can detect a pulse in a person with strong accuracy.) We are looking incorporate such algorithm aka (which will be open source) ”Eulerian video magnification” to CPRGLASS for 2 reasons;
                           1) Will help as an innovative method to assess if the compressions are adequate
                           2) Will be able to tell us if patient has regained pulse if we stop compressions, possibly, instead of even having to look for a pulse

3)   This triggers the following algorithm
A) Staying Alive Music starts which will guide you to do the compressions at a rate of 100/min.
B) Gyroscope tells you if compressions are adequate enough by moving
C) Tracks TIME of CPR initiation and number of compressions given
D) Calls 911 with your GPS based location
E) Via GPS will try to find nearest AED which information is being obtained by crowdsourcing. Ex AED4US
F) Sends Txt Msg to nearest hospital with information regarding ungoing CPR for them to get prepared

Dr. Assad combines science, technology and popular culture to create a platform that is as simple as it is important.  From the scientific underpinning to the driving musical beat, he’s part of a generation of clinicians ushering in digital health and the interesting and evolving role of Google Glass.

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How a health club’s AEDs saved 100 lives

How a health club’s AEDs saved 100 lives | First Aid Training |

David Lloyd Leisure’s health clubs do business throughout Europe; the company has 80 sites in the UK alone. With more than 440,000 members the company gets 25 million club visits a year. Since 1998, the David Lloyd Leisure staff has used AEDs to save the lives of more than 100 people.

There’s no legal requirement in the UK for fitness clubs to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on the premises. But the health and safety experts at David Lloyd Leisure insist on having AEDs readily accessible at every one of their busy clubs. This policy, along with staff training in AED use, has made a world of difference. Since 1999, David Lloyd Leisure has saved more than 100 lives.

“Our feeling is every fitness facility should have an AED, even if there’s no legal requirement,” says Caleb Brown, of the health and safety office at David Lloyd Leisure. “AEDs have become so affordable, and the response element is something which is really easy for a health club to do — they’ve already got team members available.”

One of Europe’s largest health and fitness businesses, David Lloyd Leisure started its AED program in 1998. At first, this simply meant ensuring that the reception desk at every facility had a defibrillator at hand.

A staff member from David Lloyd Leisure Brooklands with their Powerheart AED. Staff at the club used the AED to revive a member in 2010.

The return on investment in terms of lives saved was immediate, and the company nurtured the AED program. Brown, who joined the company in 2000, has been involved in the development of the company’s AED training program as part of overall safety training. Today, an AED is brought immediately to the scene of any health incident at one of the clubs.

While the survival rate for people who suffer outside-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in the United Kingdom is less than 20 percent, the survival rate for someone who suffers cardiac arrest or another serious health incident at one of the David Lloyd Leisure clubs reached 88 percent in 2012.

How They Chose Powerheart AEDs

All David Lloyd Leisure clubs are equipped with at least one AED, and one large, six-story site has two defibrillators on the premises. All the AEDs — with the exception of devices at clubs recently acquired from other companies — are Cardiac Science Powerheart AED G3s. The Powerheart AEDs were chosen because they’re highly portable and easy to use, with long-lasting medical-grade batteries and Rescue-Ready technology that conducts an automatic self-check of the main components (battery, hardware, software, and pads) every day. When it’s nearing time to replace a battery, a Rescue Ready indicator on the AED turns red and sounds an alert.

“The Powerhearts are so easy to look after, and the maintenance system is brilliant,” Brown says.

In the aftermath of any incident in which an AED was required, the club replaces the used pads with a set of spares. Brown, or one of his health and safety team colleagues, then visits the club to download data from the AED for hospital use, write up an incident report, and supply a new set of spare pads.

Training: Key to a Successful AED Program

Brown, who took on a leadership role in the AED program in 2006, has designed training for club employees that enables them to respond with maximum speed and efficiency when a cardiac incident occurs.

“Because of the voice prompts, even an untrained bystander can use an AED,” Brown points out. “With a training program, you give people the ability to react faster in an event, which is going to increase chances of survival.”

Ambulance response time in urban areas in the UK is usually under 8 minutes, Brown noted, but for a sudden cardiac arrest victim that is often too late. Brown’s goal has been to train David Lloyd Leisure staff to get the AED to the victim, and the defibrillator pads on the victim’s chest, within 1 minute.

Once the pads are attached, the AED can diagnose the heart rhythm, and, if appropriate, administer a shock. The AED’s voice prompts coach the team through every step of the process, including administering CPR. The AEDs are programmed in accordance with the latest resuscitation guidelines, and David Lloyd Leisure bases its training on those same guidelines.

“I believe that some businesses overestimate the amount of training that is required for a successful AED program,” Brown says. “Our training is only two hours for an employee, once a year. With just that basic training, in the vast majority of incidents requiring an AED, we are able to get the pads onto the chest in less than a minute.”

In 2012, the company’s survival rate for incidents in which an AED was deployed reached 88 percent.

Case Study: Saving a Life at the Health Club

“I would not be alive now had it not been for the quick intervention of Paul, Laura,and others and their ability to resuscitate me,” a 45-year-old businessman wrote in a letter to David Lloyd Leisure. “I have been advised by doctors that if I had been anywhere else, in particularly where there was no defibrillator, I would not have survived.”

The man had collapsed while using a rowing machine at the North London club. Bystanders alerted the club’s team straightaway, and one of the team immediately started CPR. The AED was brought to the area and the pads put on immediately. The AED diagnosed a shockable heart rhythm and it administered one shock.

“By the time the ambulance crew arrived, the man was breathing and talking,” Caleb Brown, part of the company’s health and safety team, said. “He went on to make a complete recovery, went back to work, and he’s back at the club.”

Two members of the David Lloyd Leisure staff were directly involved in the rescue. One delivered CPR and the other used the AED. A half dozen others assisted, clearing members from the area and making sure there was access for the ambulance crew.

“The training I received in using the AED enabled me to use the AED with confidence and the clear voice prompts helped to keep me calm,” one of the rescuers reported after the incident. “It’s an amazing feeling to know that the actions I took resulted in a life being saved.”

Heidi Brock's curator insight, July 30, 2013 9:56 AM

C.A.B. For Life an "American Heart Association" training facility brings life saving instruction to your Place of business, home, place of worship or community location.

Don't wait...It could be too late!

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Villagers turn old phone box into mini A&E with life-saving machine

Villagers turn old phone box into mini A&E with life-saving machine | First Aid Training |
A DEFIBRILLATOR has been installed in a rural red call box after locals bought the kiosk from BT for a pound.

AN old phone box has been transformed into a potential lifesaver after being purchased by villagers for £1.

A defibrillator, which gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest, has been installed in the red call box.

And as the nearest accident and emergency department is 20 minutes' drive away, the machine could mean the difference between life and death.

The call box in Arnprior, Stirlingshire, was bought by the community from British Telecom under the company’s Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

Funding for the defibrillator came from various organisations, including Stirling Council and the Sandpiper Trust, who aim to provide Scotland’s rural doctors and nurses with emergency medical equipment.

A BT spokesman said: “We’re very pleased to hear that the villagers of Arnprior have found a new lease of life for one of our old, rarely used boxes.

“Over the years, many people have described their local phone box as a lifeline. Now that everyone has a phone at home or a mobile, that’s no longer true.

“But kiosks fitted with defibrillator machines could be real life savers for the community in the future.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service and the Community Heartbeat Trust, a charity dedicated to the provision of defibrillation services to local communities, gave their help to the project.

Backing also came from the community council and Stirling Council’s Community Pride fund. Villagers were given advice and training on how to use the defribillator.

And children from the local primary school will be on hand to help open the lifesaving installation on Monday.

A spokesman for the Sandpiper Trust said they were delighted to have been involved in the Arnprior project.

He said: “It has become increasingly clear over the past decade since the trust was set up that working together with all these organisations is what saves lives.

“We are also pleased that the children of Arnprior School have been involved in this project.”

More than 100 traditional red kiosks in Scotland have been adopted by their local communities for £1.

Arnprior is the second community in Scotland to have a defibrillator fitted in their call box.

Glendaruel Village, Argyll, was the first in 2011.

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Owner saves puppy's life using dog-CPR - Telegraph

Owner saves puppy's life using dog-CPR - Telegraph | First Aid Training |

A pet owner bought her beloved puppy back from the dead after a near-fatal bee sting – by performing dog CPR.

Lola the seven-month-old boxer was playing in the garden when the insect flew into her mouth and stung her.

Owner Emma Harris, 20, watched in horror as the dog suffered an instant allergic reaction – vomiting and trembling before suddenly keeling over.

Miss Harris, a nursery assistant, checked Lola's pulse then began pounding her chest using first aid skills she learned at work.

After a few minutes the dog eventually came round choking for breath to the delight of Miss Harris and her parents Tammy and Ian.

"She seemed fine at first and then five minutes later she was sick," Miss Harris said.

"After she collapsed and we couldn't feel a pulse, my Dad was shouting 'She's gone, she's gone!'.

"My mum was a mess and my dad didn't know what to do. I don't know what came over me but I jumped on top of her and started to pump her heart with my fists to give her CPR.

"I was pumping for a good couple of minutes. My dad said she opened her eyes and started breathing again.

"My mum was on the phone to the vet and he said to get her to them as soon as we could."

Neighbour Jim Ness, a retired nurse, leapt over the fence to help Emma perform the life-saving procedure in Plymouth, Devon on Sunday afternoon.

She added: "Jim helped me to keep calm and held Lola's head for me while I pressed on her chest.

"When she started to breath again he told me to take a rest. I had just given 60 compressions in a row and he said I might have to give her more".

Lola was taken to a vet and given steroids to counteract the bee sting and was back to her usual self within days.

Miss Harris said she knew what to do because she took a CPR training course with colleagues from the Curious Kittens Nursery in Devonport, Devon.

She said: "If I hadn't taken part in that First Aid course for work I wouldn't have known what to do

"I am quite proud of myself for it. She's my pet and she's only young.

"We lost a dog last June – another Boxer called Stella – so it would have been horrible to lose Lola so quickly".

Miss Harris's grandmother Shirley Ball, 66, said: "Her mother told me how Emma just told them to go away and let her get on with it.

"The circumstances could have been very different if she hadn't acted. I'm just so proud of her right now".

Heidi Brock's curator insight, January 29, 2014 11:39 AM

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Understanding Defibrillators (AEDs)

Understanding Defibrillators (AEDs) | First Aid Training |

A defibrillator is a life saving device that issues a electrical shock to the heart in some cases of cardiac arrest. This process is called defibrillation and can help save lives. Cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops pumping bloody around the body. At this time it is critical that defibrillation happens as soon as possible.

This electrical shock depolarizes a critical mass of the heart muscle, terminates the arrhythmia, and allows the natural rhythm  of the heart to be re-established by the body’s organic pacemaker, in the sinoatrial node of the heart.

According to the British heart foundation for every minute that a patient is not giving defibrillation their chances of survival decrease by 14 per cent. In fact research also show that’s providing a shock within five minutes of the patient collapsing provide the best chance of survival.

Defibrillators can come in many forms and sizes. These can be external, transvenous, or implanted. This will all depend on the device used. The most common devices are called automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and because they automate the defibrillation process, by automation of the treatable rhythms, meaning that bystanders or people with very little or no training at all can use them.

Because of the importance of the defibrillators and the low numbers available, it is vital that these devices are strategically placed within an area. These are often placed where an ambulance would find it difficult to get to -  i.e.,  placed with traffic congestion, poor infrastructure, or where large crowds gather.

Defibrillation was first successfully performed in 1899 by two physiologists in Switzerland. It was found that small electrical shocks could induce ventricular fibrillation in dogs. However, it wasn’t until 1933 that a serious alternative to injecting powerful drugs straight to the heart. Dr Albert Hyman came up with the invention of a hollow needle, an insulated wire to the heart to deliver the electrical shocks.

These days Defibrillators have come a long way from the Hyman days. In order to use the AED, the machine is turned on and then a voice prompt will instruct the rescuer on what to do. The voice prompts the rescuer to place the pads into position on the chest and these then detect if a shock is needed by reading activity in the heart.

Defibrillation should never be seen as an alternative to to CPR, which can help by time before defibrillation is needed. The British Heart Foundation state that if more GP surgeries were equipped with defibrillators that survival could be increased by up to 60 per cent if the patient is treated immediately after entering cardiac arrest.

AED’s are often placed in highly visible areas and it is not recommended that these should be placed in locked or code restricted cabinets as this makes them inaccessible in time of emergency where the time taken is of essence. AED’s are often brightly coloured, and are often encased in protective cases. When these protective cases are opened nearby staff are alerted by a buzzer.


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Lack of defibrillators in hospitality industry raises concerns

Lack of defibrillators in hospitality industry raises concerns | First Aid Training |

The vast majority of British hospitality businesses do not have a defibrillator, despite the impact the device has on cardiac arrest survival rates, according to a recent report.

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Stafford Borough Council - Man speaks of night NOT to remember

Stafford Borough Council - Man speaks of night NOT to remember | First Aid Training |

A Stone man has now spoken of the night he nearly died at his local gym.

Russell Follows said if it hadn’t been for a quick thinking fitness instructor he wouldn’t be alive today.

Mr Follows suffered a cardiac arrest in the changing rooms of the borough council run Westbridge Park Fitness Centre. But local instructor, Lee Nicklin used CPR and an on-site defibrillator to keep the man alive until an ambulance took him to University of North Staffs hospital.

Speaking about the incident Mr Follows, 55, said: “Thanks to Lee I’m still here and in the world.”

Stafford Borough Council provides defibrillators at a number of its premises including all leisure centres, the Civic Centre, Gatehouse Theatre and the crematorium on Tixall Road with around 70 members of staff trained to use them.

Mr Follows continued: “I’m coming to terms with what’s happened. I can’t remember anything from that night, not even driving to the gym, or using the gym.”

“He acted immediately and did enough that evening to save my life and I can only say a million thank yous. And even that’s not enough. He is a genuinely nice guy, and got very emotional when I went in and thanked him last week.”

Mr Follows said how defibrillators are a much needed piece of equipment: “I’m just grateful that as well as Lee there was a defibrillator on hand which is there for everyone to use in emergencies – and as you can see they save lives.”

But the incident has not put him off using the gym: “I enjoy the gym so it’s hard not to go, but I’ve been told to take it easy. So I’m not going to over do it just yet.”

Mr Follows left hospital on Saturday 2 March after under going surgery where he was fitted with a mini defibrillator, following the cardiac arrest last month: “Having the defibrillator fitted was a big decision to make, but really it’s a no brainer it’s like a comfort blanket in case anything happens again. Plus it’s also peace of mind for my family.”

Lee, 39 said: “It was all part of the job. We are trained to use the defibrillators and knowing that it saved Russell’s life demonstrates how important the machine and our regular training is.”

He continued: “It was just so emotional and great to see Russell when he came back into the gym with a thank you card.”

Councillor Mike Smith, cabinet member for leisure, said: “We had a similar incident happen in Stafford several years ago, and it just highlights how important defibrillators are.”

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'Cough CPR'

The BLS/AED Subcommittee has received a number of enquiries from people who have been informed about "cough CPR" and "How to survive a heart attack when alone". Advice has been put on the Internet that someone who thinks he or she is suffering a heart attack should repeatedly cough and go at once to a hospital, by car if necessary.

This advice is based (very loosely) on published case reports of people being able to maintain some sort of cardiac output during cardiac arrest by vigorous coughing - so-called "cough CPR". The scenario has usually been of a patient developing ventricular fibrillation whilst being monitored, often whilst undergoing cardiac catheterisation. The patient has been encouraged to cough and a measurable circulation has been recorded. This anecdotal evidence supports the theory that chest compressions during CPR are successful because they increase intrathoracic pressure and result in a flow of blood. The collapsed veins and patent arteries at the thoracic inlet result in this flow being in a forward direction. Coughing produces the same effect.

The BLS/AED Subcommittee knows of no evidence that, even if a lone patient knew that cardiac arrest had occurred, he or she would be able to maintain sufficient circulation to allow activity, let alone driving to the hospital.

December 2005
Reviewed August 2010

Criley JM, Blaufuss JH, Kissel GL. Cough-induced cardiac compression: self-administered form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. JAMA. 1976;236:1246-1250.
 Miller B, Cohen A, Serio A, Bettock D. Hemodynamics of cough cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a patient with sustained torsades de pointes/ventricular flutter. J Emerg Med. 1994;12:627-632.
 Petelenz T, Iwinski J, Chelbowczyx J, Czyx Z, Flak Z, Fiutowski L, Zaorski K, Petelenz T, Zeman S. Self-administered cough cardiopulmonary resuscitation (c-CPR) in patients threatened by MAS events of cardiovascular origin. Wiad Lek. 1998;51:326-336.
 Saba SE, David SW. Sustained consciousness during ventricular fibrillation: case report of cough cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn. 1996;37:47-48.
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London Ambulance Service - Parliament receives lifesaving equipment

London Ambulance Service - Parliament receives lifesaving equipment | First Aid Training |

Visitors and employees at the Houses of Parliament can now be assured of receiving the very best in service from the first aid team, following the installation of 16 new defibrillators.

Part funded by the British Heart Foundation, defibrillators are machines that can deliver a shock to restart a patient’s heart should they suffer a cardiac arrest – when the heart stops pumping blood around the body.

The newly qualified six-strong HeartStart training team and the current first aid team at the Houses of Parliament will now be on hand to deliver this lifesaving care 24 hours a day.

London Ambulance Service is responsible for over 800 public-access defibrillators around the capital, placed in tourist attractions, transport hubs, shopping centres and sports facilities.

Last year the scheme helped to save 11 patients who had suffered a cardiac arrest to be discharged from hospital. Overall in London, almost a third of patients suffering cardiac arrest survived in 2011/12 – the highest in the country.


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MPs back schools first-aid teaching - Regional - Lytham St Annes Express

South West MPs have backed a fellow MP's call for first-aid skills to be taught in schools.

Anne Marie Morris (Conservative, Newton Abbott) opened a backbench-led debate, saying skills would include learning how to perform CPR, place victims in the recovery position and clear an airway before paramedics or doctors arrived.

Tory MP Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon) told the Commons that better first-aid training could have saved his father's life, adding that training could be added to PE, biology or PSHE lessons - so long as it was added to the curriculum.

"I was in this position with my own father. Aged 12, my father collapsed, my attempts to help were at best muddled, passers-by then helped, and we all rely on people having that confidence to make a difference."

Labour's Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View) said she had used her first-aid training on several occasions.

She told MPs: "It is people's lack of knowledge which stops them doing even the basic checks."

Ms Morris said Bolton Wanderers star Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest and subsequent recovery show why schools should teach first-aid skills.

Muamba collapsed on the pitch during an FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur in March, but survived after immediate medical help.

The near-tragedy sparked calls for youngsters to learn emergency life-saving skills as part of the National Curriculum - and Ms Morris said that knowing what to do would be popular with youngsters.

"The moment when this became front and foremost in everyone's thinking was when Fabrice Muamba very tragically collapsed on the pitch and, but for an individual coming on to the pitch who had those skills, he may not have survived as well as he has done."

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Is Hands On Defibrillation Safe (giving CPR during defibrillation)?

Is Hands On Defibrillation Safe (giving CPR during defibrillation)? | First Aid Training |
One of the important aspects of advanced life support is minimisation of the interruptions to CPR.
Hands on defibrillation has been suggested as being a safe means of achieving this, however Sullivan (2012) suggests that this may not be as safe as expected.
4 different types of gloves were tested (chloroprene, latex, nitrile and vinyl) with 2 current levels being passed through them (0.1 mA and 10 mA). 45% of single gloves and 77% of double gloves allowed current flow of 0.1 mA within the normal defibrillation voltage range. 7.5% of single gloves and 6.2% of double gloves allowed current flow over 10 mA.
A significant proportion of all gloves tested showed current flow across them, and even if no sensation was felt, it does not guarentee a safety margin.
Take home message - Hands on defibrillation is not entirely safe, so it's back to minimisation rather than elimination of the pause for defibrillation.
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iPhone device detects heart rhythm problem that can cause stroke

A special iPhone case and app can be used to quickly and cheaply detect heart rhythm problems and prevent strokes, according to University of Sydney research presented at the Australia and New Zealand Cardiac Society conference today on the Gold Coast.

The research found the AliveCor Heart Monitor for iPhone (iECG) was a highly-effective, accurate and cost-effective way to screen patients to identify previously undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF) and hence help prevent strokes.

What's more, the test is able to be used in local pharmacies and general practitioner surgeries with a single-lead ECG taken on an iPhone with a special case.

Senior author, Professor Ben Freedman, said that the device was an exciting breakthrough and would greatly assist in the challenge to improve early identification of atrial fibrillation and prevention of stroke.

"Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm problem and is responsible for almost one third of all strokes," he said.

"AF increases with age, affecting more than 15 percent of people aged 85 years and over. And people with atrial fibrillation face up to a five-fold increased risk of stroke, and tend to have more severe and life-threatening strokes.

"In addition, our research showed that about 1.4 percent of people aged over 65 (50,000 Australians) have atrial fibrillation, but do not know it. There are currently a large number of people with unknown AF who are at high risk of stroke, but who are not on any medication.

"The good news is that stroke is highly preventable with anticoagulant medication, such as warfarin, or the new oral anticoagulants, which can reduce the risk by 66 percent.

"The iECG allows us to screen patients for atrial fibrillation in minutes, and treat people early. This is a huge boost in the fight to reduce the amount of strokes, particularly in people over the age of 65," Professor Freedman said.

For patients in the study with a history of known atrial fibrillation, the researchers also identified both a treatment gap and a knowledge gap. The treatment gap they identified was that only 66 percent of those eligible for stroke prevention medication were being prescribed this medication.

Lead author Nicole Lowres also said the knowledge gap of patients with AF was surprising and alarming.

"Over half of those with known atrial fibrillation in AF at the time of screening were unaware of their diagnosis even though many of them were prescribed and taking warfarin to treat their condition," she said.

"The iECG can be viewed on the phone screen and also used as an educational tool to teach people about their heart rhythm." Ms Lowres said.

Ms Lowres also noted how cost effective screening with the iECG could be.

"Our economic analysis has shown the iECG is highly cost effective and in fact this is the first mass screening program fir AF likely to be cost effective, unlike traditional 12 lead ECGs recorded by a practice nurse," she said.

"In addition, the iECG is extremely portable, which gives great flexibility for screening, and is simple to administer.

"In a new development, we are now getting receptionists in general practice to record an iECG before patients see their doctor," Ms Lowres said.

About the iECG: When taking a reading, the iECG can be seen on the iPhone screen in real time. In addition, the iECG is transmitted to a secure server (cloud) where a specialist can review the iECGs remotely. The website can automatically analyse the reading to make a diagnosis of AF. The researchers tested the website's automatic prediction in the SEARCH-AF study and found it correctly diagnoses atrial fibrillation 97 percent of the time.

The researchers are currently trialling iECG screening in GP surgeries in Sydney.

The University of Sydney research was funded by a number of investigator-initiated research grants from BMS/Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Bayer. The National Heart Foundation provided a scholarship for lead researcher, Nicole Lowres.

"The development of the iPhone ECG device just shows how important research and fundraising is in the fight against heart disease and stroke," Dr Robert Grenfell, the Heart Foundation's National Director of Cardiovascular Health, said.

"Last year, the Heart Foundation directed $13.5 million in funding to support 195 researchers. This year through the Heart Foundation Big Heart Appeal, we hope to raise $5 million to continue funding this kind of world-class research."

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Do you know the 4 Ts of Type 1 diabetes? - Diabetes UK

As many as one in four children and young people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when they are in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention. For children under five years old, it’s as many as one in three. It’s a frightening time for everyone involved.

That’s why we've launched a campaign on World Diabetes Day to raise awareness of the four most common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

We believe that everyone who knows a child, of any age, should be aware of the 4 Ts of Type 1 diabetes, remember them and know what to do if they spot them.

What are the 4 Ts?Toilet
Going to the toilet a lot, bed wetting by a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babiesThirsty
Being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirstTired
Feeling more tired than usualThinner
Losing weight or looking thinner than usual

By making sure children and young people get a quick diagnosis and early treatment, we can avoid them becoming seriously ill with DKA.

What to do if a child shows signs of the 4 Ts

If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, you should take them straight to the doctor and insist on a test for Type 1 diabetes there and then.

All it takes is a quick and simple finger-prick blood test, which your GP can carry out straight away. If the result indicates Type 1 diabetes, the GP should refer the child to a specialist paediatric diabetes team the same day so they get immediate treatment to bring their diabetes under control and to prevent DKA.

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Doctor's plea for defibrillators to be in all public buildings

Doctor's plea for defibrillators to be in all public buildings | First Aid Training |

Dr Aseem Malhotra, from Manchester, a cardiology specialist registrar at the Royal Free Hospital in London, says the machines could save thousands of lives.

Former footballer Fabrice Muamba’s life was saved as medics used a defibrillator when he suffered a heart attack on the pitch

A cardiologist has called for defibrillators to be placed in all public buildings in a bid to improve the  low survival rates for heart attack victims.

About 60,000 heart attacks happen outside of hospitals in Britain each year – but the survival rate is between just two per cent and 12pc.

Dr Aseem Malhotra, from Manchester , a cardiology specialist registrar at the Royal Free Hospital in London, says the machines could save thousands of lives.

The former Manchester Grammar pupil said: “There should be defibrillators in all public buildings. They should be there like you have fire extinguishers.

“We know that, with defibrillation, the chances of survival increase to 75 pc. They are simple, computerised, tell you what to do, and it analyses the heart rhythm for you, shocking patients out of the abnormal rhythm.”

Dr Aseem and colleague Roby Rakhit, consultant cardiologist and clinical director at the hospital, have written an article in the British Medical Journal which says scientific evidence to support early defibrillation is overwhelming.

Dr Aseem Malhotra 

They say lessons can also be learned from Seattle in the US, which has the world’s highest rate of survival for cardiac arrests. Children in Seattle are taught CPR in schools.

They say there should be more CPR training in Britain and steps should also be taken to ensure that patients are sent to the right hospitals where they can be treated by specialist cardiologists.

The call for more machines also comes after the Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba nearly died during a match but was saved thanks to prompt treatment and the use of a defibrillator.

Surveys have revealed that only one in 13 people in Britain feel confident enough to carry out emergency first aid.

Campaigners including leading doctors, health experts and MPs have written to the prime minister asking him to consider changing the law to make the life-saving machines compulsory in every community.

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It is Not Possible to Swallow Your Tongue

It is Not Possible to Swallow Your Tongue | First Aid Training |
Myth: It is possible to swallow your tongue.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not possible to swallow your tongue. Well, unless of course if you cut it off and then swallowed it… In any event, the tongue is rooted to the floor of the mouth by the lingual frenulum. This makes getting the tongue far enough back in the throat to actually swallow it and get it stuck impossible.

Also contrary to popular belief, one of the worst things a person can try to do for a someone having a seizure is to try to jam something in their mouth to hold their tongue down. They aren’t going to swallow their tongue and someone trying to jam something in their mouth is very likely going to end up injuring them and, depending on what the person used, the seizure victim might just choke on what was jammed in their mouth. The person trying to force the thing in their mouth can also end up getting their fingers bitten severely, if they aren’t careful, and it’s hard to be careful when someone’s jerking about.

Depending on the size of someone’s tongue and where the lingual frenulum is attached, it is possible for a person having a seizure to have temporary blocking of the airway from the tongue; when they are having a seizure, the tongue can fully relax and fall back. However, this isn’t particularly a problem while they are having a seizure as breathing is usually suppressed anyways. It can be a little bit of a problem when the seizure is over and their breathing resumes. However, a more likely choking hazard for someone having a seizure or unconscious is the person’s own bodily fluids, including saliva and vomit, which they may breathe in once their breathing resumes; this can cause them to choke on these fluids, due to a suppressed coughing reflex while they are unconscious.

In these cases though, all you have to do is turn them on their side. The tongue will then naturally fall to the side of their mouth (gravity works!) and their bodily fluids won’t run back down their throat, in both cases, freeing up the airway.

Bonus Facts:

For a seizure victim, rolling them on their left side is the preferred position. I was not able to ascertain why this was the case, but it was recommended by the epilepsy foundation.You should also never try to restrain the person having a seizure. Roll them on their left side and then move objects away from them, so that they don’t injure themselves on those objects. But otherwise, you just have to let the seizure run its course.The lingual frenulum is the small mucous membrane that extends from the floor of the mouth to the mid-line of the tongue.In some people, this lingual frenulum can be so restrictive, in terms of restricting the movement of the tongue, that they can have trouble speaking. When this happens, it is known as Ankyloglossia, or “tongue-tie”. Often these people cannot even extend the tip of their tongue beyond their front teeth. This is particularly a problem for babies with this condition as they have trouble breast feeding, thus trouble taking in enough food.The base of the lingual frenlum contains tissue that has a series of saliva glands on it. The two largest of these are called the Wharton’s Ducts and are in the front.The tongue isn’t just one muscle, as many people say, “the strongest muscle… etc.” In fact, it’s made up of many muscles, which allows for the great range of movement most people have with it, with the muscles running in different directions.As you age, the number of taste buds you have tend to diminish. An average child is born with about 10,000 taste buds. An average elderly person only has about 5,000. This is partially why many kids hate vegetables so much. Vegetables can be very bitter to “super tasters” or those close to that. As you age and your taste buds diminish, this bitter flavor goes away somewhat and changes the taste of the vegetables dramatically in the process.The tongue never really gets a rest. Even while you are sleeping it is constantly pushing saliva into the throat, making sure you don’t drool all over your pillows.
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Practices lack vital lifesaving kits |

Practices lack vital lifesaving kits | | First Aid Training |

Health industry’s defibrillators would go ignored in a genuine emergency, survey finds

A new survey reveals that many dental practices are without key lifesaving equipment.

More than half of the staff polled were unaware if their practices were kitted out with a defibrillator.

Dentistry figured among the health industry survey which also highlights a need for more education to rid misplaced fears about misuse.
The survey shows that 54% of staff in workplaces such as dental surgeries and GP practices stated that their premises either do not have, or that they are not aware that they have, a defibrillator.

Of those questioned that do have defibrillators, 36% do not know how or would not be confident enough to use it.
This raises fears that this emergency heart equipment may not be used in the places where it is most needed.
Vincent Mathieu, managing director of DOC UK calls for more education for health service providers: “With 124,000 heart attacks a year in the UK touching people of all ages and physical conditions, defibrillators are essential equipment – and you expect the health industry to set the gold standard. However, defibrillators do no good if they are not used. It’s vital that companies within the health industry sector have an on-site defibrillator that their staff will be confident to use in case of an emergency.”
The survey indicated that the general apprehension about using emergency equipment is based on risks that do not exist. For instance, a defibrillator will only work on someone who is having a genuine cardiac arrest. 48% per cent of respondents were concerned about injuring the casualty or being held liable if something went wrong. This is alarming as the equipment will only function on people who are having a cardiac arrest, and there have been no cases of people being sued for using a defibrillator.
Dr Stephan Van Wyk, a dentist at The Bridge Dental Centre, East Twickenham, highlights the importance of defibrillators in dental practices which are high stress environments.

He said: 'Although we are not required to have a defibrillator at the practice, it is a recommendation for dentists and regarded as best practice. We hope that we never have to use it, but we see having the defibrillator as an extension of our customer service, it’s an added extra to help make our customers feel comfortable and reassured.'
DOC’s defibrillators work by connecting the user to a call centre staffed with medically trained personnel who guide the user through the defibrillation process, removing the need for training, and removing the fear factor should an emergency occur.

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Automated External Defibrillators and the Urban myths

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening condition that must be treated within minutes if the victim is to survive. The only therapy which can treat the life-threatening arrhythmia that occur during SCA is defibrillation; the earlier the better. Various studies have determined that for every minute defibrillation is delayed survival falls rapidly. In one study it was determined that this fall in survival was around 7 to 10% while the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have concluded that the fall in survival percentage is 14%.

Defibrillation for the SCA victim needs to be part of the 'pattern of care'; a well-establish process - the Chain of Survival - assists the rescuer in giving the victim the best chance of survival; call for help, early CPR, early defibrillation and advanced life support.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS) are designed specifically to enable non-medical rescuers to treat SCA victims as they are safe, easy to use and effective.

There are, however,  a number of myths and mis-information around the whole issue of SCA and the use of an AED.

Lay persons are often confused between a heart attack and a sudden cardiac arrest. These are two separate medical conditions and although the first can lead to the second, an AED is designed to treat the unresponsive, not breathing victim the indications for SCA and the use of an AED.

Clinically, defibrillation does not 'jump' start the heart. Delivery of a biphasic electrical current depolarises the heart cells allowing the organ's natural 'pacemaker cells' to re-start and the heart to return to normal electrical activity or sinus rhythm. During SCA the heart is exhibiting ventricular fibrillation (VF) ; a chaotic discharge of electrical current that prevents oxygenated blood from circulating or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) which while more regular is still too fast to again allow the effective circulation of blood thus denying the brain of oxygen.

People often ask about the 'danger' of rescuers or bystanders receiving a shock if they are touching the victim of SCA during defibrillation. While we have adopted the historical warning 'stand clear' from the use of manual defibrillators, studies show that current leakage from a defibrillation device using adhesive pads is actually minimal. The majority of current delivered being discharged into the chest and heart. The actual amount of current leakage recorded in one study measured this as well below 2,500 microamps, the international standard relating to this threshold. To put this into layman's terms this equates to the current from a standard nine volt battery. The European Resuscitation Council (ERC) Guidelines (2010) describes 29 instances of death or harm from a manual defibrillator, however this is a different type of device, produced for professional rescuers, utilising metal paddles (although some are available with adhesive defibrillation pads.

All in all, AEDs are safe, effective and easy to use so why would you not want to place these in your workplace or public area?

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Why Your Employees Should be Trained in First Aid

Why Your Employees Should be Trained in First Aid | First Aid Training |

If you've only met the bare minimum of first aid requirements in your business, you're missing out on a valuable opportunity. There are numrous excellent reasons to send your staff on first aid training courses. Here are a few of our favourites:

To Meet Legal Requirements

Your business probably needs to have at least one appointed first aider, which could very well be yourself. But the number of first aiders required by a business varies from place to place and depends on a number of factors, including the total number of employees, the industry you work in, and any history of previous accidents. A risk assessment will help determine the legal requirements for your business.

Because a First Aid Kit is Only as Good as the Person Using It

Supplying a first aid kit is all well and good, but if an accident occurs and no-one's on site who knows how to use it, there's very little point in having it. Everyone knows how to put a plaster on, sure. But what about bandages, dressings and all the other equipment you can't just stick on? Some people lack even the basic knowledge that most first aid kits require, and your employees could be among them.

Your Employees Will be More Aware of Dangers

Training your employees in first aid means they'll be more aware of the dangers surrounding them and, more importantly, how to avoid them. Putting somebody in a position of responsibility by teaching them first aid is also a good way to encourage good, safe behaviour.


So There's More Likely to be Someone to Hand

Having more than one person to hand in the event of an accident to emergency is very useful, and a good way to put your mind at ease during the day-to-day running of your business. Furthermore, if you only have one first aider on site and they are the one who gets injured, who's going to look after them? Training more than one first aider in your business is just common sense: the more likely there is to be someone to hand, the better.

To Show Your Employees You Value Them

Sending your employees on a first aid training course not only equips them to deal with accidents and emergencies – it also shows them that you value them. For starters, having more qualified first aiders on site shows that you're interested in the wellbeing of your employees: you want them to be properly looked after. And secondly, by sending your employees on a first aid course, you show that you're willing to invest in them, and that you value their personal and professional growth. Good for morale all round.

To Save Lives

We didn't really need to say that, did we?

If you think investing in your employees and sending them for first aid training could benefit your business, you'd be right. We offer multiple first aid courses at a range of different levels, which could be just the ticket. Check out our options today to find out how we can help improve your business and keep your employees safer.

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Importance of first aid for families highlighted by new survey

Importance of first aid for families highlighted by new survey | First Aid Training |
New findings reveal 70% parents don't know what to do in an emergency


Could you give CPR to your baby, or know what to do if your child swallows a toxic substance? If not, you're not alone.

A nationwide study by has highlighed a worrying lack of first aid knowledge among parents in the UK, with 7 in 10 parents admitting that they did not know how to help their child in a medical emergency.

The results also revealed that 72% of parents across the UK wouldn't know how to assist an unconscious child, administer CPR or attend to burns and scalds.

The findings reinforce how important it is for parents to learn basic first aid skills and the confidence to use them in an emergency.

Find out how much you know about first aid with our quiz. And, if youskills could do with brushing up, take a look at our first aid information. 

First aid basics for babiesEssential emergency first aid kitHow to treat a burn - a parents' guideHow to treat a fire burnHow to treat an electrical burn
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First Aid education could save thousands of lives a year, so why isn't it on the curriculum?

First Aid education could save thousands of lives a year, so why isn't it on the curriculum? | First Aid Training |

Who was your favourite teacher at school? The one who brought the Victorians to life or the one who made chemistry go off with a bang? Chances are they knew how to make their lessons exciting, relevant and inspiring. Of course, even top teachers need subjects that will get their pupils fired up – and few fit the bill like first aid. Importantly, this subject is also absolutely essential for us to build a more resilient and humane generation.

We know that emergencies can happen anywhere, but only seven per cent of people in the UK can correctly recall first aid advice and feel confident and willing to give first aid. Simple skills learned in just a few minutes – like what do if someone becomes unconscious – can save lives.

The Red Cross recommends that schools make life-saving skills and resilience building part of core subjects like science and PE. Our studies show that first aid lessons give young people life-saving skills and the confidence to use them.

Yet only 20 per cent of secondary school students in England and Wales say they have learned life-saving skills in the classroom and just 4 per cent of them would step up in aid of someone needing first aid assistance, according to an ICM poll in January.

This is why the British Red Cross has launched the Pupil, Citizen, Life-saver campaign, urging the Government to put these topics at the heart of England’s new national curriculum. It’s a call which can only succeed with as many members of the public as possible signing up to the e-campaign and making their voices heard.

Earlier this month, the Government announced draft plans for the new curriculum making no mention of first aid education at all. These proposals are now open to public consultation; and we have less than two months to shape the future lives of millions, by getting first aid into schools so every child can learn how save a life.

What is encouraging is that young people themselves are overtly keen to learn first aid. The ICM poll found that 94 per cent of secondary school students would feel more confident to help a friend or family member needing first aid if they received training. Additionally, 91 per cent of students would like to learn first aid in schools.

These numbers should be a massive wake up call for each and every one of us: teachers, parents, politicians and children themselves. First aid education must be more accessible in the classroom to build a generation of better citizens who possess life-saving skills. The evidence shows the UK needs to build a generation of lifesavers by teaching them first aid at school from primary school level.

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Precordial Thump - Medical Procedures Reference Library - redOrbit

Precordial Thump - Medical Procedures Reference Library - redOrbit | First Aid Training |

The precordial thump is an application of mechanical energy through a calculated strike to the torso when in a specific fatal heart rhythm. This procedure is used in very specific circumstances by highly trained health professionals with ACLS certifications.

The Procedure
While in the presence of a patient that is suffering a potentially fatal heart rhythm, a medical provider can strike a calculated point on the sternum to disrupt that rhythm. The energy transferred by the provider is estimated to be 2 to 5 joules, which is enough to depolarize the heart and stop the fatal rhythm. While it will work, there are several factors to the success. The procedure must be performed early on in the onset of the fatal rhythm, the change must be witnessed to administer and it can only be performed once. The procedure should not be performed if it delays cpr or defibrillation. The provider should immediately proceed with the correct ACLS protocols for the patient condition.

What are the Fatal Rhythms
There are only two rhythms that are appropriate for the precordial thump and neither has a palpable pulse. The rhythms are ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia.

Possible Problems with the Procedure
The procedure is known to the layperson from television and it looks simple but done incorrectly can cause harmful injuries. The blunt trauma delivered to the wrong area can cause a break in the sternum or cardiac arrest. Even if done correctly, there is a chance that the rhythm will change into a more fatal rhythm, asystole. Asystole is where the heart is absent of any electricity and not beating.

Because of the number of injuries sustained by improper technique, the precordial thump was removed from standard CPR training and isn’t usually taught as a standard treatment.


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Holiday Heart Attacks: Not a Myth

The holidays are a time for celebrating and spending time with family and friends. It’s the most festive time of year – we decorate trees, light menorahs, share meals and smiles, and sing songs together.

However, did you know it’s also the time of year when heart attacks are most likely to occur? It’s true. Sadly, between Thanksgiving and New Years, there is a nation-wide increase in cardiac-related deaths.

There are a few reason why researchers propose heart attacks increase during the winter holiday season.

Weather: breathing cold air can constrict the blood vessels and therefore increase the pressure causing clots to form. However, there are still a number of heart attacks in warmer weather climates.Emotional Stress: the holiday season can be a source of stress with family you do or do not want to interact along with or financial pressures with gifts and travel expenses.Overindulgence: Poor eating habits, excessive alcohol or abusing drugs can lead to an increased strain on your heart.

Taking a CPR class can help you learn how to care for a person having a heart attack and how to perform CPR for a person in cardiac arrest . Often, cardiac emergencies happen at home or the workplace, so the life you may have to save could be that of a friend or loved one.

We know that taking a CPR course during the Holiday Season may seem impossible – but if you have three minutes to spare, we have a “Learn Hands-Only CPR” video that can help…you can always make taking the full CPR course a New Year’s resolution.

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Understanding Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Understanding Sudden Cardiac Arrest | First Aid Training |

Sudden cardiac arrest is often confused with a heart attack. Although a prior heart attack increases one’s risk for sudden cardiac arrest, the two are quite different, with distinct risk factors, treatment options and outcomes.

Anatomy of a Heart Attack

A circulation problem of the heart causes a heart attack when one or more of the arteries delivering blood to the heart are blocked. Oxygen in the blood cannot reach the heart muscle, and the heart muscle becomes damaged. You can think of a heart attack as a “plumbing problem” in the heart.

This damage to the heart muscle can lead to disturbances of the heart’s electrical system. And a malfunction of the heart’s electrical system may cause dangerously fast heart rhythms that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

Anatomy of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

In contrast to a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an “electrical problem” in the heart. It occurs when the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles) suddenly develop a rapid, irregular rhythm (ventricular fibrillation) causing the ventricles to quiver rather than contract. The chaotic quivering motion of the ventricles renders the heart an ineffective pump that can no longer supply the body and brain with oxygen.

Within seconds, the person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Only immediate emergency treatment, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and external defibrillation, can prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest. Time is key to surviving sudden cardiac arrest, with chances of survival decreasing about 10 percent every minute without defibrillation. The American Heart Association recommends defibrillation within five minutes of collapse or sooner.

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