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CARDIAC ARREST VS. HEART ATTACK

emergency first aid cpr training

Knowing how to perform CPR is critical to helping save someone’s life. Taking a Red Cross Training Course with hand2heart CPR will ensure you have the skills required to perform the lifesaving actions for those crucial moments before EMS arrives on the scene. Four to six minutes without oxygen to the brain and vital organs, the brain cells start to die. After 10 minutes without oxygen to the brain and vital organs, you are pretty much declared clinically dead.

There is always a bit of confusion in our First Aid CPR training courses when discussing cardiac arrest vs. heart attack. Let me take some time to clear up that confusion.

WHAT IS CARDIAC ARREST?

CARDIAC ARREST occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly.

Cardiac arrest is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).  With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs.

WHAT HAPPENS?

Seconds later, a person becomes unresponsive, is not breathing  or is only gasping. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.

WHAT TO DO:

Cardiac arrest can be reversible in some victims if it’s treated within a few minutes.

CALL 911       First, call 911 and start CPR right away.

AED:              Then, if an AED (Automated External Defibrillator is available, use it as soon as possible.

*Taking a Red Cross First Aid CPR AED class with Hand2Heart CPR will provide you with all the skills

required to operate the AED successfully!

If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 911 and finds an AED.

CARDIAC ARREST IS A LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH. Take a CPR Course today with Hand2Heart CPR

RISK FACTORS:

*Prior heart disease is a major risk factor for cardiac arrest.

*A family history of cardiac arrest in a first-degree relative is associated with an approximate 2-fold increase in risk of cardiac arrest.

 

WHAT IS A HEART ATTACK?

A HEART ATTACK occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked.

A blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die.

WHAT HAPPENS?

Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and may include intense discomfort in the chest or other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, cold sweats, and/or nausea and vomiting. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during the attack. The longer the person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.

 

*Women have the same symptoms as men, but they might have slightly different symptoms, making them not think of a heart attack. Women may have shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and they can have back, neck or jaw pain.

WHAT TO DO?

CALL 911:         Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, call 911. Every minute matters! It’s best to call EMS to get to the Emergency Room right way. EMS staff can begin treatment when they arrive-up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital too.

As a bystander, you won’t necessarily know the difference between Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack. It’s always best to call 911 immediately, and begin doing CPR right away. 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths. Place the heel of your hand in the centre of the chest (between the nipples), and push hard and fast. If you do not have a proper breathing barrier, then compression only CPR  is acceptable on an adult who has suddenly collapsed. If performing CPR on an infant or child, then rescue breaths should be administered as their emergencies are usually respiratory in nature (choking, drowning, severe asthma, anaphylaxis).

WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN THE TWO?

Most heart attacks do not lead to cardiac arrest. But when cardiac arrest occurs, heart attack is a common cause. Other conditions may also disrupt the heart’s rhythm and lead to cardiac arrest.

REMEMBER: Fast action saves lives! Taking a CPR training course with Hand2Heart CPR will put you in the front lines when coming to the aid of a person in distress.

To learn more about our Training Courses, or to book, please visit our website at: www.hand2heartcpr.ca

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LET’S TALK SHOCK

We have all heard the term shock. Treat for shock, anaphylactic shock, septic shock, but what is shock? What happens when the body goes into shock? Are there different levels of shock? Is shock serious? Well, let’s explore that a little…..

Definition of shock:

Shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow. Lack of blood flow means that the cells and organs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly.

The Main types of shock include:

*Cardiogenic shock (due to heart problems)

*Hypovolemic shock (caused by too little blood volume)

*Anaphylactic shock (caused by allergic reaction)

*Septic shock (due to infections)

*Neurogenic shock (caused by damage to the nervous system)

 

Some causes of shock:

Shock may result from trauma, heatstroke, blood loss, severe burns or other causes such as:

*Spinal injury

*Heart problems

*Infection or severe allergic reaction

 

Signs and Symptoms of shock:

*Cool, clammy skin

*Rapid, shallow breathing

*Enlarged pupils

*Thirst and dry mouth (due to fluid depletion)

*Restlessness, anxiety or confusion

*Drowsiness or loss of responsiveness

*Nausea or vomiting

*Weakness or fatigue

 

Treatment for Shock:

If you suspect a person is in shock, call 911 or your local emergency number.

*Anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction) is treated with Benadryl and Epinephrine (an “Epi-Pen”), and steroid medications.

*Begin CPR if the person shows no signs of breathing

*Lay the person down (or keep comfortable if they are unwilling to lay down)

*Keep the person still and don’t move him or her unless necessary

*Loosen tight clothing and, if needed, cover the person with a blanket to prevent chilling.

*Don’t let the person eat or drink anything.

*If the person is bleeding, hold pressure over the bleeding area.

*If the person vomits or  begins bleeding from the mouth, turn him or her onto a side to prevent choking

Remember….Shock is a serious, and potentially life threatening condition. Call 911 if you suspect someone is in shock.