You just never know when cardiac arrest can happen. That feeling of helplessness; watching someone under such duress. If this ever happens in your presence, there are ways that you can help. Get CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) trained and have an AED available. For every minute that passes without treatment, a person’s chance of surviving drops by 7% to 10%.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating. Some 350,000 cases occur each year outside of a hospital, and the survival rate is less than 12 percent. CPR can double or triple the chances of survival. Sudden cardiac arrest tends to happen without warning. Usually, the first sign is someone fainting, collapsing or seeming to be lifeless. You may not be able to feel a pulse.

Common heart attack signs and symptoms include:

• Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back.
• Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain.
• Shortness of breath.
• Cold sweat.
• Fatigue.
• Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness.

Obviously, it’s crucial for someone to call “911”. Determine if a person is unconscious, or breathing abnormally, even if it’s a drug overdose, begin CPR. The ideal rate of compression during CPR is 100 to 120 beats per minute. Gauging this rate may be difficult, but think of that famous Bee Gee’s hit, “Staying Alive” and keep that optimum rhythm going. You are replacing a heartbeat and you need to be firm and compressions should be hard and fast in the center of the chest, down at least 2 inches with full weight of your body.

Whether or not there is an AED present at the workplace, knowing how to perform proper CPR is so important and you can save a life. Ask your Human Resources or Safety Manager about considering scheduling a CPR/AED class at your workplace. The advantage of a CPR course is that you will be confident in your CPR skills and will be less likely to hesitate in an emergency situation.

AED (Automated External Defibrillators) are beginning to be more prevalent in businesses, and have come a long way to make them much more user friendly. Have one or two people nearby to perform CPR and another to set up and use the AED. Proper CPR can be tiring and switching off is recommended until first responders arrive.

Risk Factors:

  • A family history of coronary artery disease
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Drinking too much alcohol (more that 2 drinks per day)

An image of a ZEE Medical staff member giving an AED training to a man and woman couple. All are kneeling on the ground next to a CPR dummy

Other risk factors for Sudden Cardiac Arrest include:

• history of a previous heart attack
• age over 45 for men, or over 55 for women
• male gender
• substance abuse
• low potassium or magnesium

Ways to help prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest:

• Eating a diet low in saturated and trans fats, and high in soluble fiber and fruits and vegetables
• Exercising regularly
• Getting to a healthy weight and keeping it
• Managing stress
• Quitting smoking

Our Medic CarePlus CPR and AED Training classes include topics on:

Preparing to respond, patient assessment, CPR. AED and choking. First and foremost, being CPR Certified will give you’re the confidence to take the lead and save a life.