Cardiac arrest can be deadly, It strikes suddenly and without warning. But, it’s reversible in most victims if treated within a few minutes. It’s critical to recognize the symptoms and act quickly.
According to the American Heart Association, here are the signs:
Sudden loss of responsiveness
- Tap on his or her shoulders. If you don’t get a response, or
- He or she does nothing when you ask if they are OK.
Yell for help!
- Tell someone to call 9-1-1 and get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), if one is available. Don’t wait for them to bring it. Immediate Check Breathing (see below).
- If you are alone with an adult who has these signs, call 9-1-1 and get an AED, if one is available. But, don’t delay; if you don’t see an AED within a few seconds, immediately
If the person isn’t breathing or is only gasping, give hands-only CPR. (Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is no longer recommended.) Here’s a one-minute video that shows you how.
- Important: Be sure to call 9-1-1 before you start CPR. Then,
- Kneel, put one of your hands on top of the other, place them in the middle of the victim’s chest, keep your arms straight, and PUSH hard to depress his/her chest 2 inches with each push, and push fast at the rate of 100 pushes per minute.
- Use an AED as soon as it arrives. Simply turn it on and follow the prompts.
- Keep giving CPR until the person starts to breathe or move or someone with more advanced training takes over.
- Warning Signs and Emergency Treatment of Cardiac Arrest — American Heart Association