Doctors stress importance of knowing what to do when someone suffers cardiac arrest
Would you know what to do if someone collapsed from cardiac arrest?
The American Heart Association says every year in the U.S., more than 350,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital.
"The minute someone faints, and they don't wake up, somebody should be calling 911, somebody should be doing CPR and somebody should be getting that AED,” says Dr. Naomi Kertesz, of The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Kertesz says AEDs — automatic external defibrillators — can help shock a person’s heart right back into rhythm.
“You have five minutes from the person fainting until the AED restores a normal rhythm before you are likely to sustain brain damage,” says Kertesz.
She says then to resume chest compressions until EMTs arrive.
There are a few steps to remember. But CPR classes with the American Red Cross can make it easy to commit to memory.
Even if you don't have access to an AED, Nuvance Health's Dr. Paul Wright says by doing chest compressions, you help keep oxygen-rich blood circulating to the brain and other vital organs.
"Overall, when someone has cardiac arrest, one of the major questions we're concerned with is ‘did the brain get enough fuel?’” says Wright.
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