During your lifetime, there will not be many instances where you complete a task better the first time than you did on the second or third time of asking. This is only natural, as practice and repetition help us to complete a task more efficiently than the very first time we attempt it. However, there is a very high probability that at some point in the future you are going to encounter someone that is having a heart attack. It may be a total stranger, although it is more likely to be someone you know and care about.
When this situation comes about, it is important that you get take the steps needed to help keep them alive, and this needs to be done right the first time, as you are only going to get one shot at it.
Therefore, it makes sense to practice the procedure with your partner or spouse, with one of you taking on the role of the patient who has just gone in to cardiac arrest, and the other takes the role of the person trying to save their life.
So, what steps would you take to save someone’s life when they are having a cardiac arrest?
Here are some important steps that you should take in the event that this situation occurs:
- Firstly, you will need to determine if it is safe for you to help the victim, that there is no risk to you such as electricity cables or other items that could harm you.
- Secondly, you will need to make sure that the patient is not breathing properly and is completely non-responsive.
- Thirdly, if you are at home, you need to dial 911, whilst making sure that the front door is unlocked, so that the medical team can gain access to your property.
- Next, tell the 911 call handler exactly where you are, what is wrong with the patient, how you are helping and what you need.
- The next step is to begin chest compressions on the victim whilst you wait for the emergency services to arrive. Chest compressions need to be done at a rate somewhere between 100 and 120 per minute, and about two inches deep.
- Finally, forget about breathing for the victim, as they will not need it for the first 5 minutes or so, and not completing the chest compressions will dramatically reduce their survival chances.