Keys to act if you witness a cardiorespiratory arrest

In a cardiorespiratory arrest it is essential to contact the emergency services as soon as possible. Initial supportive measures should be implemented, but the use of a defibrillator is the key to survival.

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Cardiorespiratory arrest is a situation in which a person’s breathing and blood circulation suddenly stop . It is a critical moment that puts the life of those who suffer it at risk. However, it is potentially reversible.

What does this mean? Being potentially reversible means that acting quickly and correctly can save that person’s life . However, it is not like in the movies. Cardiorespiratory arrest is something that is surrounded by myths.

In fiction, when someone starts cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the person wakes up suddenly as if nothing had happened. This is quite far from reality. In the event of a real cardiorespiratory arrest, consciousness can only be restored by electrical stimulation to the heart .

The truth is that, if we know how to act correctly before this, we can really save someone’s life. Therefore, in this article we explain what to do in the event of a cardiorespiratory arrest using some simple keys.

How important is knowing how to act in front of a cardiorespiratory arrest?

When a person undergoes cardiorespiratory arrest, both their blood circulation and their breathing stop. This causes oxygen to not reach all parts of the body . If this situation lasts more than 6 or 8 minutes , the brain suffers serious damage.

Here is the importance of acting quickly. Unfortunately, 80% of cases occur outside of the healthcare environment. In fact, almost 60% are produced in the person’s own home. Currently, it is estimated that only 6 out of 100 Spaniards know how to act in this situation.

What you need to do in a cardiorespiratory arrest is to provide that person with basic life support. That is, it is about replacing the functions that person has lost through simple measures.

The idea is to maintain oxygen flow and blood circulation until the health services arrive. They will be responsible for stimulating the heart again to try to reverse the situation.

Many cardiorespiratory arrests happen outside the hospital setting, on the street, or in homes

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What should be done in a cardiorespiratory arrest?

The first thing, to be able to act , is to know how to recognize this situation. If we are faced with an unconscious person, we must try to stimulate him to see if he regains consciousness. It is important to call and shake that person with intensity.

Also, make sure you are in a safe environment. If, for example, you are lying in the middle of the road, it is essential to place it away from danger. The ideal is to try to contact an emergency service as soon as possible.

However, if you are sure that you are in cardiac arrest, there is no time to waste. That person should be placed on their back, subtly pushing their head back. Thus, the airway is kept open, holding the forehead with one hand and the chin with the other.

When you contact the emergency service, it is important to explain all the details of the situation . Also, your instructions must be followed. If you are not alone, ideally, someone else will find the nearest defibrillator .

There are usually semi-automatic defibrillators in numerous public places. In any case, while someone does it or the health services arrive, it will be necessary to start with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The use of a defibrillator is the fundamental step to achieve the resuscitation of a person in cardiac arrest

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How is resuscitation performed?

The CPR consists of chest compressions and ventilation to the person. To do the compressions, you have to stand on top of him or her. With your arms stretched out, place your hands in the center of your chest.

30 rhythmic compressions are performed with force. At that time, it is inspired by the mouth of the unconscious person and the air is blown with force. The protocol indicates to carry out two ventilations and continue with the compressions.

It is a simple, but comprehensive maneuver. For this reason, it is important that, if someone is nearby, the rescuers relieve each other and regain strength. The truth is that, learning to do these maneuvers well, we can save someone’s life.


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