What to Do When Faced with a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Emergency

Unfortunately the unthinkable happens far too often – a seemingly healthy person collapses without warning.  Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), a leading cause of death in the United States, is often to blame. Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it’s treated within a few minutes. When that emergency hits, do you know what to do?

The American Heart Association recommends the following emergency treatment for cardiac arrest:

1)   Look for signs of cardiac arrest:

  • Sudden loss of responsiveness
    • No response to tapping on shoulders
    • Does nothing when you ask if he/she is okay
  • No normal breathing
    • The victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up
    • Check for at least five seconds

2)   Call 9-1-1 for emergency medical services

3)   Get an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available

4)   Begin CPR immediately; continue until professional emergency medical services arrive

5)   Use the AED as soon as it arrives

If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.