What to do in a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Event

What would you do if you walked in and found a co-worker, lying unconscious one day at work? What would you do if you saw a child fall to the ground, and become unresponsive, in the middle of playing a game of basketball? Would you know what steps to take to help them? CPR, or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is a series of steps you must take if you ever find someone unconscious, or if you ever see someone collapse and become unresponsive. It was developed to keep oxygenated blood flowing to a person’s brain if their heart suddenly stops. According to the American Heart Association, “Keeping the blood flow active – even partially – extends the opportunity for a successful resuscitation once trained medical staff arrive on site.” Here are the basic CPR steps you should take as a bystander:

  1. Ensure the scene is safe.
  2. Recognize the emergency (tap and shout at the person).
  3. Call 9-1-1 and Follow the 911 dispatcher’s directions.
  4. You, or a helper, accesses an AED, if there is one close by.
  5. Check for breathing, or gasping.
  6. Begin chest compressions. (AHA recommends hands-only CPR for untrained bystanders)
  7. Set up the AED if one is available, and follow the instructions until paramedics arrive.

The AHA states that most bystander rescuers will most likely have a cell phone with a speaker, and bystanders calling 911 can be instructed by EMS dispatchers to perform hands-only CPR. High-quality CPR chest compressions are a critical step in saving a life, and in the SCA Chain of Survival. Even if you do not know how to do anything else, chest compressions are better than doing nothing. Taking this one step further and using an AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, will greatly increase the chances of survival for a victim of cardiac arrest. The AHA is always encouraging communities to increase education and public access to AEDs. Please contact us at 1-800-695-1209 if you have any questions about CPR, AED use, and the Chain of Survival.

Blog By Blaire CzarnieckiWritten by Blaire Czarniecki
Customer Service Director

Fact checked by Phillip Woods, BA, NREMT-P, FP-C

Blaire attended the University of Tennessee where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology- Child and Family Studies. She has been in the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) industry for over eight years and is the Director of Customer Service for Coro Medical. Blaire is also an American Red Cross-certified CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor, highly trained by each manufacturer on their specific AEDs, and knowledgeable regarding ALL State AED regulations and legislation.

“I know that every day I come to work, I am playing a part in saving someone’s life. I am passionate about these devices and am always looking for new and innovative ways to spread awareness and knowledge about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I look forward to the day when everywhere I go, I will see an AED—when SCA will no longer take any lives.”

Last updated October 23, 2019