Sudden cardiac arrest: Why CPR training is must? How it can save lives?

Almost 24,000 people lose their lives every year due to cardiac arrest in Telangana

By Anoushka Caroline Williams  Published on  9 March 2023 4:30 AM GMT
Sudden cardiac arrest: Why CPR training is must? How it can save lives?

Hyderabad: An average of 350-400 individuals in Telangana succumb to sudden cardiac arrest daily. The majority of cases occur during the evening and night hours, both at home and public locations, as per the state health department statistics.

Alarmingly, almost 24,000 people lose their lives every year due to cardiac arrest in the state. However, half of these fatalities are potentially preventable through the promotion and compulsion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training.

“In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, CPR is critical. With an estimated success rate of 60%, performing CPR improves the chances of reviving the collapsed individual. The rhythmic chest compressions used during CPR can stimulate the heart to restart beating, allowing the person to be saved from certain death. Onlookers could scarcely respond in the previous four incidents of abrupt cardiac arrests seen in the city in the last ten days because they were uninformed of CPR. Given the timing and location of these incidences, everyone must learn CPR.” said Dr. B. Hygriv Rao, Director of Electrophysiology and Pacing, KIMS Group of Hospitals, Secunderabad.

What is CPR?

CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a life-saving procedure when the heart stops beating in an emergency. Quick CPR following a cardiac arrest can double or triple the odds of survival.

Why is CPR Important?

It keeps blood flow active even if only partially increases. It increases the chances of a successful resuscitation till trained medical personnel arrive.

The 6 links in the adult out-of-hospital Chain of Survival are:

- Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system (calling for an ambulance)

- Early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions

- Rapid defibrillation

- Advanced resuscitation by Emergency Medical Services and other healthcare providers

- Post-cardiac arrest care

- Recovery (including additional treatment, observation, rehabilitation, and psychological support)

- A strong Chain of Survival can improve the chances of survival and recovery for victims of cardiac arrest.

How is CPR Performed?

There are two commonly known versions of CPR:

For healthcare personnel and those who have been trained:

Traditional CPR with chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing should be at a compression-to-breath ratio of 30:2.

For an average adult, rescuers should execute chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute and to a depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm), while avoiding excessive chest compression depths (greater than 2.4 inches [6 cm]).

Compression-only CPR, or Hands-Only CPR, is for the general public or onlookers who watch an adult suddenly collapse. Hands-Only CPR is CPR that does not include mouth-to-mouth breathing. It is advised for usage by anyone who witnesses an adolescent or adult suddenly collapsing in an out-of-hospital scenario (such as at home, at work, or in a park).

About High-quality CPR

High-quality CPR should be performed by anyone including bystanders There are five critical components:

- Minimize interruptions in chest compressions

- Provide compressions of adequate rate and depth

- Avoid leaning on the victim between compressions

- Ensure proper hand placement

- Avoid excessive ventilation

Heart Attack vs. Cardiac Arrest - The difference you should know

Cardiac Arrest - Occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. Cardiac arrest is an “ELECTRICAL” problem.

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem.

What are Defilbrators?

Defibrillators are electronic devices that provide an electric pulse or shock to the heart to restore a regular heartbeat. They are used to prevent or repair an arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat that is too slow or too fast. If the heart abruptly stops beating, defibrillators can help it restart. Defibrillators of various types work in different ways.

“AEDs, which are now widely available in public places, are used to save the lives of people who have gone into cardiac arrest. In an emergency, even inexperienced onlookers can operate these devices” said Dr. Hygriv.

How do AEDs work?

An AED is a portable, lightweight, battery-powered device that examines the heart's rhythm and delivers a shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm. The device is used to assist persons who are experiencing cardiac arrest.

Adhesive pads containing sensors, known as electrodes, are applied to the chest of a person experiencing cardiac arrest. The electrodes provide data about the person's heart rhythm to the AED's computer. The computer examines the heart rhythm to determine whether an electric shock is required. The electrodes give the shock if it is required.

Steps to follow while using AEDs in an emergency

- Complete the CHECK and CALL steps

- As soon as an AED is available, turn it on and follow the voice prompts

- Remove clothing and attach pads correctly

- Remove all clothing covering the chest. If necessary, wipe the chest dry

- Place one pad on the upper right side of the chest

- Place the other pad on the lower left side of the chest, a few inches below the left armpit

Note: If the pads may touch, place one pad in the middle of the chest and the other pad on the back, between the shoulder blades

- Plug the pad connector cable into the AED, if necessary

- Prepare to let the AED analyze the heart’s rhythm

- Make sure no one is touching the person

- Say, “CLEAR!” in a loud, commanding voice

- Deliver a shock, if the AED determines one is needed

- Push the “shock” button to deliver the shock

- After the AED delivers the shock, or if no shock is advised, immediately start CPR, beginning with compressions

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