Would you know what do to in an emergency?

Every day in Ireland 14 people die of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Often it is the first aid skills of passers-by or people near to the scene that can mean life or death for these victims. If you were that person who was first on the scene of an emergency, would you know what to do?

Surprisingly it is not only the aged population who fall prey to cardiac disorders. The hectic pace and stress associated with modern life has made younger people prone to heart disorders more than ever before. A person who has faced a cardiac attack in a location where no medical help is immediately available can survive if his companions are trained in CPR methods. Waiting for the doctor to arrive and start the treatment can often be fatal to a victim of cardiac attack. CPR helps a person who is facing breathing problems to inhale and exhale.

Learning the CPR training is not a time consuming affair. There are numerous organisations such as the Irish Red Cross which provides comprehensive training in CPR techniques. CPR doubles a person's chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.

The Irish Red Cross now provides a Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council approved cardiac first responder course that covers basic life support, airway obstruction, cardiac chest pain, stroke, etc.

Fleming Medical Ltd supplies lifesaving AED defibrillators to all industrial and community sectors. Freephone 1800 307777 for more information.

Did you know?

Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 5,000 deaths annually in Ireland. This equates to approximately 14 deaths per day.

Sudden cardiac arrests occur in persons with underlying heart disease.

CPR doubles a person's chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest occurs twice as frequently in men as in women. CPR provides a trickle of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart and keeps these organs alive until defibrillation can shock the heart into a normal rhythm.

If CPR is started within four minutes of collapse and defibrillation provided within 10 minutes a person has a 40 per cent chance of survival.

In sudden cardiac arrest the heart goes from a normal heartbeat to a quivering rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF ). This happens in approximately two thirds of all cardiac arrests. VF is fatal unless an electric shock, called defibrillation, can be given. CPR does not stop VF but CPR extends the window of time in which defibrillation can be effective.

The only definitive treatment for SCA is a defibrillation shock.

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