Dealing with a Cardiac Arrest


Just follow DRs ABC as quickly as possible:

1 Look for DANGER – to yourself and the casualty (fire, electricity, gas, chemicals, machinery)

2 Check RESPONSE – is casualty alert, confused, unresponsive?

You can check if the person is responsive by speaking to them, gently shaking them & tapping their collar bones

3 SHOUT for HELP – if casualty is unconscious call your DEFIB BUDDY & ring 999

4 Open AIRWAY – if not responding

Place one hand on the casualty’s forehead & two fingers under their chin

Gently tilt their head back & lift the chin. Check nothing in the mouth

5 Check BREATHING – look, listen and feel

Maintain the head tilt & chin lift

Look for chest movement, listen for sounds of normal breathing, can you feel their breath on your cheek

6 Give CPR (chest compressions) if not breathing – get casualty onto floor or hard surface, not onto bed

Kneel down beside casualty level with their chest

Place heel of your hand towards the end of their breastbone, in the centre of their chest

Place heel of your other hand on top of the first & interlock your fingers

Lean over casualty, with your arms straight & press down vertically on the breastbone by 5-6cm (2-2½in), keeping your fingers off the ribs

Release pressure without removing your hands from their chest

Repeat 30 times at a rate of about twice a second (120 per min), the speed of singing the song ‘Staying Alive’ or ‘Nellie the Elephant’

If you hear ribs cracking/breaking do not be alarmed – this is not unusual as it just means your CPR is effective. Your priority is to keep your casualty alive – broken bones can be mended later


How to give a rescue breath

Ensure the casualty’s airway is open

Pinch their nose firmly closed, take a deep breath and seal your lips around their mouth

Blow into the mouth until the chest rises. Remove your mouth and allow the chest to fall

Repeat once more

Carry on giving 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths for as long as you can, or until help arrives

If the casualty starts breathing normally again, stop CPR and put them on their left side in the recovery position

IMPORTANT: Doing this can and does save lives

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