An estimated 10,000 workplace cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year. Even worse, many don’t know the symptoms of a cardiac arrest. As a result, only 46% of people who have “Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA)” receive proper CPR before medical help has responded. CPR can double, or even triple, the survival rate.
This week is CPR & AED Awareness Week. An emergency can happen at any time and you should know what to expect when that time comes. Become more aware in the workplace with these tips from the American Heart Association. With only 50% of people in a workplace knowing where to locate an AED, many lives are at risk.
Signs of Cardiac Arrest:
- Sudden loss of responsiveness – The person does not respond to a hard tap on the shoulder or if you ask them if they are okay.
- No normal breathing – There is no breath, or they are gasping for air.
What to do if Cardiac Arrest has occurred:
- Yell or Call for help - Tell a specific person that they need to call 911 immediately.
If you were trained and know how and when to administer CPR and an AED, then proceed with the rest of these tasks. If you are not familiar with CPR or an AED, you could do more harm than help.
- Check breathing – If the person is still not breathing or gasping, administer CPR.
- Give Hands Only CPR – Push down at least two inches on the chest at the rate of 100 to 120 compresses per minute, or to the rhythm of “Staying Alive”, in the center of the chest.
- If available, use an AED – Use the AED as soon as you can. All you must do is turn it on and then listen for it to instruct you on what to do next.
- Keep pushing – Continue CPR until the person can breathe, becomes responsive, or medical help arrives.
If your employer doesn’t provide CPR & AED training, encourage them to do so. Or, take it into your own hands to become qualified.