What is a cardiac arrest and how do you know if someone is having one?
A cardiac arrest, also known as sudden cardiac death, occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating.
The person collapses to the ground and is unconscious, appears lifeless, has no pulse and is not breathing. There can be many causes.
How do you perform CPR?
It used to be more complicated — you had to alternately press on the person’s chest and give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But about a decade ago, medical experts realized that mouth-to-mouth was not making things better, was difficult for the public to do and was a disincentive for people to learn CPR.
Now CPR is “hands only.” Aim for the center of the chest over the breastbone, or sternum.
“Join your hands together and push hard and fast on the chest 100-120 times a minute to the beat of the song “Staying Alive,” by the Bee Gees, Dr. Chugh said.
Why do you have to push so fast in CPR?
“You want to maximize the output from the heart,” Dr. Abella said. “CPR is not very efficient in moving blood. The heart is a better pump, so to make up for that you go faster. You can’t hurt someone. They are already dead.”
How long do I keep doing CPR?
You should keep it up until an ambulance arrives or until another rescuer can take over for you.
What about using a defibrillator?
An automated external defibrillator, or A.E.D., shocks the heart and resets it. When you open the glass box that holds an A.E.D., the device should speak to you, telling you to place two pads on the person’s body according to a diagram. It analyzes the heart’s rhythm and, if a shock is appropriate, tells you to stand back, press a button and shock the heart.