Do you use cardiac arrest and heart attack as synonyms? You’ll be surprised if we told you it’s not the same! There is a big difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack. A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked; basically, it is a blood circulation problem. Whereas, cardiac arrest is caused by heart malfunctions and it suddenly stops beating. The condition of the patient is quite different in both cases and is treated differently. You should be able to identify before giving first aid to cardiac arrest.
What is Cardiac Arrest?
We often use the terms of Cardiac arrest and Heart attack and even use them interchangeably. As for most cardiac arrests, it occurs suddenly and often without warning. Cardiac arrest is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Due to which its pumping action is disrupted; the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs, and other organs. Right after that, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. What worse is that death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.
How to spot cardiac arrest patient?
There are few indicators through which you can spot a cardiac arrest patient nearby:
The person is unresponsive.
Their heart has stopped beating.
Their skin turns pale or blue.
You can easily spot cardiac arrest patient and with the help of basic first aid you can save a life.
Basic First Aid for cardiac arrest patients
When a person gets a cardiac arrest it is reversible in most victims only when treated within a few minutes. CPR should begin immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services arrive. Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death – over 320,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States. By performing Hands-Only can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival.
Whereas, for a Heart attack if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack or not, call on your emergency response number. Every minute matters!
However, both cardiac arrest and heart attack are extremely serious health issues and require immediate medical attention. But, cardiac arrest is the more serious of the two. Undoubtedly, cardiac arrest can turn incurable if treatment is not administered within a few minutes.
What you can do?
Try to make the patient conscious
You can gently shake the person and try to make him conscious on your own or can ask for help if needed.
Check if he is breathing
You can be sure of one thing the person having cardiac arrest won’t be breathing at all. It can further be clarify by his regular chest movement, look and listen for breathing for not more than 10 seconds. Also, check his breathing against your cheeks. To further assist, open their airway by putting your hand on their forehead and gently tilting their head back. Lift the person’s chin using two fingers of your other hand.
30 Chest Compressions
You can also give 30 chest compressions by placing the heel of one hand in the middle of their chest and other hand on top, and interlock your fingers. With straight arms press down into the breast bone firmly and smoothly, so the chest is pressed down by 5-6cms.Release and repeat at a rate of around two per second. In this manner give at least 30 chest compressions and then monitor patient’s health.
You should try rescue breaths if nothing is working you can open the person’s airway, tilt back their forehead and lift their chin. Pinch their nose, and take a normal breath, make a seal around their mouth and breathe out. You should see the person’s chest rise and fall as you do it. You can repeat the process twice, but the two breaths should take no longer than five seconds.
Basic first aid for cardiac arrest patients can help you save life without giving in much effort and time.