Plan ahead: tips for providing cardiac arrest first aid

first aid

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can occur anywhere and at any time. If you often find yourself in a role where it might be pivotal to provide SCA first aid, such as your job or at a local sports club, it’s important to know some of SCA first aid fundamentals.

You don’t want to get caught out in a life-threatening situation without knowledge of what to do, and this includes CPR and using the best automated external defibrillator Australia has to offer.

So, if this is a concern, be sure to follow some of these important first aid tips:

  1. Prepare for random SCA

SCA is a random event that can affect young and old, so it is important that people who are routinely in places where it could happen have a plan of action. Ensure you and those who can also provide first aid have an action plan as well as a fundamental knowledge of providing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator (AED).

  1. Know your AED location

Most crowded spaces (shopping centres, events centres, public offices, sporting clubs etc.) are fitted with AEDs, the devices used to determine SCA and return the heart to its normal rhythm.

You should have knowledge of exactly where the AED is in your space. Modern AEDs should be able to tell you exactly how to use them, but you can also have an operator talk you through it whilst you await paramedics.

  1. Keep your mobile charged

You never know when you might have to call an ambulance.

  1. Use hands-free if necessary

You never know when you might be alone when providing CPR/AED responses. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have your phone on speaker for when you might need to speak with the operator/paramedic whilst providing first aid.

  1. Keep up with your skills

Whilst learning CPR may only take one training session, it’s important to update your skills so that you don’t forget them in the event of an emergency. You may want to partake in an annual first aid course to refresh your skills.

  1. Begin providing first aid

The SCA event can be quite shocking to those who witness it. However, as someone who is trained to provide first aid, you will know that every second counts when it comes to saving a life.

So, try and put your shock aside and get down to it, first providing CPR and then using the AED if necessary. Once again, the AED should be able to tell you exactly what to do and they are designed to be incredibly easy to use.

  1. Offer support for witnesses

This may not be your role in the situation, but alas, it is important for those who witnessed the SCA event to be offered to counsel if necessary. Witnessing an SCA can be a life-changing experience, and can take its toll on those who witness it, so it’s important for these witnesses to know there is help available if it was a traumatic experience for them.

  1. Analyse the situation for later possible events

Do you feel like the organization, office, shopping, etc. handled the event well? Was the safety procedure in place able to provide optimal assistance to the Sudden cardiac arrest victim?

If so, then it sounds like there is a good procedure in place. But, if you feel that things could have gone better, it is important to speak about this with the people that can conduct a proper review and then health treatment and implement changes for safer future outcomes.