How To Operate An AED In 6 Steps!
Timing is vital when a sudden cardiac arrest event occurs. The immediate use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) can increase survivability after cardiac arrest. So what are the 6 basic steps to operating an AED?
Even though AEDs are designed to be extremely user-friendly, understanding how the specific AED operates and what the specific steps for using the AED can increase your confidence and provide you with the added skills to actively save a life.
What is an AED?
The AED is a device used to treat victims of cardiac arrest and it most often used in conjunction with CPR. The AED conducts an analysis of a patient’s heart rhythm to determine whether a shock is needed to restore a normal heartbeat and if it determines that a shock is necessary, it delivers a shock to the patient using an electrical current called joules.
Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that AEDs are dangerous and could cause harm to the operator or other bystanders. In reality, AEDs are a safe, effective tool that pose little risk when used properly.
Why Are AED's Important?
An AED is a life-saving device that can significantly increase a patient’s survivability after cardiac arrest. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) (2022) cardiac arrest victims had a 67% chance of survival when a bystander uses an AED, as opposed to just 43% when they wait for emergency medical responders to arrive. Subsequently, AEDs are an highly effective way to provide emergency care to individuals quickly while waiting for emergency response personnel.
How Do you operate an AED?
Operating an AED is extremely easy! By following just a few steps, you can administer an electric shock in minutes and help restore the patient’s regular heartbeat.
Did you also know that most AEDs include instructions? Many units are even equipped with voice prompts to walk the user through the process. However, despite the voice prompts, it is still imperative to know and understand the basic steps for AED use.
the 6 Basic Steps For Operating An AED ARE:
1. Assess the scene for safety!
First, check the scene and make sure that it is safe to approach the victim. If there is another individual or bystander, have them call 911 for help and grab a first aid kit and AED if not already there.
2. Turn on the AED and follow the prompts!
Once an AED is available, turn it on and begin following the prompts. Some devices will call out voice prompts while others show the steps on a screen. Also, listen to see if pad connectors need to be plugged in.
3. Attach electrode pads.
Remove any clothing that is covering the victim’s chest. Attach one electrode pad to the upper right side of the patient’s chest, then place the other on the lower left side of the patient’s chest.
4. Check for shockable or non-shockable rhythm.
Let the AED check for a shockable rhythm. Make sure that no one is touching the patient and call out “clear" or "stand back"!
5. Administer shock if necessary.
If the AED determines a shock is necessary, make sure that no one is touching the patient and call out “clear” or "stand back"! Once it is safe to do so, administer the shock.
6. Administer chest compression CPR.
Begin administering CPR with chest compressions.
wOULD YOU LIKE TO Learn More?
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about AED's, would you like to take one of our CPR/AED classes here at Help-A-Heart CPR? It doesn't matter if you are a future healthcare provider or a stay-at-home mom, getting CPR and AED certified is empowering.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our team of training professionals is passionate about CPR and we’re here to help in any way we can. Give us a call at (210) 380-5344 or use our online contact form.
How To Handle An Allergic Reaction!
Have you ever had an allergic reaction to something? Allergic reactions can occur in response to a number of different things whether it be a bee sting and/or a house pet to even peanuts and freshly cut grass and hay. Allergic reactions can sometimes be mild and/or even severe. However, regardless of how severe an allergic reaction is, it is important to address it as efficiently and effectively as possible to prevent further distress.
What Is An Allergic reaction?
An allergic reaction is the body’s overreaction to an allergen or foreign protein.
The extensive network of cells, hormones, tissues, and organs that compromise the immune system in the human body work effortlessly to keep the body safe from potential threats such as infections, viruses, and diseases. During an allergic reaction, the body produces substance-fighting proteins called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells and release chemicals that, when combined with an allergen, prompt the body to release a compound called histamine, which is responsible for allergic reactions ranging from itching and irritation to swelling and even anaphylaxis.
What Causes Allergic Reactions?
An allergic reaction is caused by a combination of an allergen and the body’s response. There are three primary types of allergies and each type can involve a different type of response. The first are ingested allergies, which occur only when an allergen is ingested orally or intravenously. Common allergens in this category include peanuts, eggs, gluten, certain types of fruit, and some medications, including penicillin. The second are contact allergies, which occur when an allergen comes into contact with the skin and causes swelling or irritation. Common allergens in this category include soaps, detergents, hair dye, and latex. The final and most widespread type of allergies are inhaled allergies, which occur when an individual breathes in an allergen. Common allergens in this category include pollen and pet dander.
What are common allergic reactions?
An allergic reaction can produce one or more of the following symptoms:
1. Itching on the affected area or over the entire body
2. A red or raised rash on the affected area or over the entire body
4. Swelling in the mouth or throat
5. A runny nose
6. Sneezing and watery eyes
7. Difficulty breathing or rapid breaths
8. Nausea or diarrhea
In certain cases, an allergic reaction can impact multiple parts of the body at once with severe symptoms resulting in anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis typically begin 5 to 30 minutes after contact with an allergen. However, sometimes, it can take up to an hour for symptoms to become noticeable. The symptoms of anaphylaxis are noticeably more severe with individuals experiencing anaphylactic shock and even becoming dizzy or losing consciousness. Anaphylaxis can unfortunately occur suddenly and become lethal in a very short period of time. If you suspect an anaphylactic reaction, address it quickly with the medication prescribed by your physician (usually Epinephrine and/or Benadryl) and an immediate visit to an emergency room.
Be Prepared! Get Certified With Help-A-Heart CPR!
In order to acquire all of the necessary knowledge you need to address allergic reactions and administer proper precautions for handling allergic reactions; it’s always an excellent idea to enroll in a first aid course.
A first aid course will provide you with knowledge regarding the administration of first aid for issues including muscle and bone injuries, seizures, general trauma, and allergic reactions. Students will then have an opportunity to practice their learned skills under the supervision of trained professionals. At the conclusion of the course, all students will obtain a Basic First Aid certification indicating that they have passed the course.
Learn More About Allergic Reactions. Enroll in a First Aid Course!
Would you like to learn more about allergies? Do you have any questions about how to handle an allergic reaction? Our instructors and staff here at Help-A-Heart CPR are here to answer your questions. Become better prepared and get certified with a Help-A-Heart CPR First Aid class. We offer the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and/or the American Safety Health Institute First Aid class which will provide everything you need to know to provide first aid and emergency care for allergic reactions, injuries, and other trauma. Take a moment to explore our website to learn more about the many emergency response courses we offer, and enroll with our team at Help-A-Heart CPR today!
What Items Should Be In A First Aid Kit?
What Items Should Be In A First Aid Kit?
Having a well-organized and well-stocked first aid kit is one of the best ways to prepare for an emergency.
A first aid kit in your car allows you to treat injuries while you’re away from home or if you're in predicament and don't have access to medical supplies.
The creation of your own first aid kit can be cost effective and an easy alternative to purchasing a pre-made kit. Creating your own first aid kit also allows you to customize the first aid kit based on the medical needs of your family and friends.
First Aid Supplies
A well-equipped first aid kit is more than just band-aids and scissors. There are quite a few different types of supplies you might not have considered that can be very beneficial to have on hand such as medical care options for children and infants as well as a First Aid manual. In this blog post, we’ll cover the essential items for any first aid kit checklist to help you create your own.
1. A Box or Container.
When purchasing your first aid container box, look for a container that comes with transparent inner compartments so you can have a clear view of the items inside. Also, look for a light-weight tackle box with handles, and never put a padlock on your kit because you will need to get to it quickly in an emergency.
2. Essential First Aid Items.
Here are some essential items that you might want to keep in your first aid kit:
Adhesive Band-Aids for covering cuts
Gauze pads for treating wounds
Safety pins for closing bandages
Antiseptic and hydrocortisone cream for skin inflammation and rashes
Antihistamine for allergic reactions
Antiseptic wipes to sanitize your hands
Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or other pain relieving medication
Aloe Vera to treat mild burns
Insect bite relief pads
A digital thermometer
Curved scissors (Medical grade)
Saline solution for eye washing or cleaning wounds
3. Child and Infant Medication Doses and Accessories.
If you have young children in your family, include child and infant pain relievers, any prescribed medication, Benadryl spray, child & infant sunscreen, small bandages, baby wipes, and a syringe or medicine cup for administering medications.
4. First Aid Manual & Instructions.
A first aid manual will provide the necessary steps to assist you in a medical emergency. Another alternative is to participate in a CPR and First Aid certification class to receive hands-on training. Try to also include a summary of the information you learned in the class inside your First Aid kit so you remember what to do in the middle of an emergency.
5. Items for Serious and Acute Emergencies.
Additional emergency first aid items may be needed to facilitate acute medical emergencies such as choking, cardiac arrest, drowning, severe allergic reactions, and car accidents.
A. Hot and cold packs. Preferably, the kind that you just have to snap to activate the heating or cooling sensation
B. Latex free synthetic gloves if you’re dealing with serious wounds
C. A CPR mask for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
D. Anti-diarrhea medication
E. An Epi-Pen for severe allergic reactions
F. A biohazard bag or marked plastic bag for disposal of contaminated items
Tips for using the first aid kit
Ensuring that you have a first aid kit in your car is always a wonderful initiative. However, there may be times that it will be ineffective if you don't know how to use its contents. Here are a few essential first aid tips that you can follow:
1. Always disinfect. Always try to disinfect your hands and the area of injury before bandaging a wound. Open wounds and skin-to-skin contact can lead to infections and the spread of illness.
2. Stop the bleeding. Apply direct pressure to any open wound to stop the bleeding before wrapping it or applying a bandage.
3. Immobilize the injured area. For trauma and broken bones, make sure that the injured area is immobilized without excess weight or pressure on top of it. Unless you are a healthcare professional such as a medical doctor, don’t try to reset or stint the bone yourself.
4. Perform CPR for nonresponsive persons who aren’t breathing. In the event that a person isn’t breathing and is unresponsive, perform CPR immediately.
5. When in doubt, call 911. For individuals in need of CPR, call 911 as soon as you determine that CPR is needed. For those with serious injuries or for anyone you believe needs extra treatment; always call 911.
6. Always restock your first aid kit. After using some of your essential first aid items to address any medical emergencies, it’s important to replace those items as soon as possible.
7. Some medical emergencies are bigger than your first aid kit can handle. If you feel that you or a loved one need emergency treatment, contact emergency services. If someone has a large wound or won’t stop bleeding, has sustained a head injury, may need CPR, or is experiencing severe symptoms call 911 right away. When in doubt, always call 911!
8. Take a first aid or CPR course. The best way to learn how to use your first aid kit in the event of any emergency is to take a Basic First Aid or CPR certification course that teaches you essential lifesaving skills.
Our CPR and First Aid courses at Help-A-Heart CPR can help you prepare for unforeseen emergencies. Whether you’re a parent looking to learn basic first aid for your children, a future medical professional hoping to get some training, or just interested in first aid, taking a class is a great way to sharpen your skills and potentially save someone’s life!
Our CPR certification and Basic First Aid classes will leave you feeling ready to use that first aid kit. We’ll cover patient assessment, bleeding wounds, allergic reactions, and much more. If you’re interested, take a moment to review our class schedule and find a date and time that works for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re here to help. Just use our online contact form or give us a call at 210-380-5344.
What Is AED Program Management?
What Is AED Program Management?
Let's assume that you need an AED and prepare to treat a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. However, you soon discover that the device isn’t working. Perhaps the battery is no longer working, or the pads need to be replaced, or the device is past its expiration date. Regardless of what is happening, a non-functional AED is almost worse than no AED at all.
To avoid this situation, you might consider AED program management. Facilitating the use of AED program management can assist you with the management of your AEDs through such things as sending you reminders or alerts about upcoming expiration dates while also ensuring you’re meeting legal requirements.
What Is An AED?
The automated external defibrillator (AED) is a tool used to treat someone who is experiencing cardiac arrest. These life-saving devices analyze the heart rhythm and deliver an electric shock to victims of ventricular fibrillation to restore the heart rhythm to normal.
AED's are easy for bystanders to use and you don’t need to be a healthcare provider to operate. AED's are located in various places such as schools, corporate offices, and fitness facilities. In addition, individuals with a high risk of cardiac emergencies might also consider the purchase of one for their home. AEDs dramatically increase a patient’s chance of survival compared to waiting for first responders to arrive, and so it is important that AEDs are accessible in as many places as possible.
Why is an AED NEEDED?
Over 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital annually. AEDs are an effective way to treat victims of cardiac arrest and can help restore a normal heartbeat in just minutes. These powerful, life-saving devices can improve a patient’s chance of survival considerably compared to CPR alone.
What IS AED Program Mangement?
Have you purchased an AED for your organization and installed it? Do you think that's all that you need to do? Not exactly. First, you need to set up CPR and First Aid training to ensure that everyone is familiar with the AED. Next, you will need to set up an AED program management schedule which is a service that can allow AED owners to effectively manage their devices. An AED management program typically includes general maintenance, expiration reminders, legal compliance checks, readiness checks, and more. These procedures will help ensure that your AED is fully operational at all times.
What are the benefits of aed program management?
Establishing an AED program management plan with a reputable AED servicing company like Help-A-Heart CPR is a vital way to ensure that your AED is always functional.
There are many benefits to AED management. Here a just a few of the top reasons:
1. Conserve Time. The management and routine inspection of an AED can be time-consuming. Between component replacement, regular inspections, scheduling training, and more, the routine tasks associated with AED maintenance can quickly become overwhelming. Therefore, an AED maintenance program can take over the routine tasks for your organization and/or business allowing you to concentrate on other aspects of your organization.
2. AED Readiness. As we previously discussed, it’s important that AEDs are always operational. The checklists that we will include in your AED program management will help you confirm that everything is up to date and that your AED is operational and safe to use whenever it is needed.
3. Legal Compliance. Maintaining the federal and state requirements for AEDs can be a nuisance and timely. Our AED management program at Help-A-Heart CPR will regularly check the legislature so that you don’t have to and make sure that your AED is compliant.
4. Maintenance Reminders. With AED program management there is not a need to set calendar reminders or rely on your memory. The AED management team will alert you whenever it’s time for maintenance. This is especially convenient if you are responsible for multiple devices across a large facility and need to keep track of various expiration dates.
5. Peace of Mind. Lastly, with the incorporation of AED management at your organization or business, you’ll never have to wonder whether your AED is safe to use. By working with a team of professionals such as Help-A-Heart CPR experts, you can rest easy knowing that everything is taken care of.
Help-A-Heart CPR can assist you with AED program management or the purchase of an AED. Our team here at Help-A-Heart CPR has decades of experience with AEDs and we’re happy to help answer any questions you have. We offer comprehensive AED management services to make AED ownership simple.
Do you still have more questions? For more information about our AED program management or any of our other services, please contact us directly. You can contact us through our online form or by phone at 210-380-5344.
How To Pass The BLS Class!
How To Pass The BLS Class!
Are you planning to take an AHA or American Red Cross Basic Life Support (BLS) certification course? It’s always a good idea to being preparing for a BLS training class ahead of time. Through a bit of preparation and study, you should be more than prepared to be successful in that upcoming BLS course.
What Is The BLS Certification?
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross (ARC) oversee the BLS certification curriculum which helps prepare medical professionals to respond to life-threatening emergencies. The BLS certification is recommended and often mandatory for healthcare providers including doctors, nurses, EMTs, dentists, pharmacists, and more.
BLS training provides healthcare providers with the skills and knowledge to keep a patient alive until they can arrive at the hospital. So, what do you learn in BLS training? Basic life Support (BLS) training covers topics in emergency life support such as CPR for patients of all ages, treatment for choking victims, proper AED use, and much more. It’s an essential training course for any individual who is looking to pursue a career in the healthcare industry.
How To Prepare For the BLS Class?
If you haven't taken a BLS class before, there are a few steps you can take to optimize your learning experience.
1. Locate The Appropriate Training
When deciding to get your BLS certification, there are several options available. For example, Help-A-Heart CPR CPR provides two methods of BLS training: traditional, instructor-led courses and hybrid online BLS courses with a brief in-person skills check. Some students enjoy the immersion of an in-person course, while others with a busier schedule often prefer the flexibility of a hybrid class. Both paths offer exceptional, high-quality instruction, it’s just a matter of what learning style you prefer and what fits into your schedule. Typically, experienced providers tend to favor the hybrid class, while those new to healthcare enjoy the instructor led option so they can ask the instructor loads of questions!
2. Make A List Of Questions
As you begin to study topics relating to BLS, take notes of any questions that you have. Bring a list of your questions with you to the BLS training course so that you can ask the instructor. Having your list ready to go allows you to focus on the course itself and not worry about remembering all your questions.
3. Begin Reviewing Basic BLS Information
While any BLS training course will cover all of the necessary information needed to pass the exam and receive the certification, it is always advised to prepare. Prior to participating in the BLS class, take some time to review all things BLS and find out what concepts and topics will be covered in a BLS course.
4. Participate In A Practice Exam.
An additional helpful idea is to take a practice exam prior to your BLS class. While you might not be able to pass the practice exam with flying colors until you’ve actually completed the training, it can still be helpful to get a sense for what topics will be covered, what kinds of questions will be on the exam, and how exam questions might be formatted. There are lots of practice exams available for free online.
Get Your BLS Certification With Help-A-Heart CPR
Are you ready to sign up for an AHA BLS certification course? Register today with Help-A-Heart CPR. We pride ourselves on being a learning center, not a testing center. You will love our laid back, low stress environment so you can get the most out of your training and be 100% ready to save a life! With expert-led instruction, cutting-edge equipment, and engaging lessons, our team can help you get BLS certified.
Our team is here to assist you any way we can, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. You can message us online via our contact form or call us at (210) 380-5344.
When Do You Use An Abdominal Thrust?
When Do You Use An Abdominal Thrust?
When someone is choking, it is important to immediately help them dislodge the object in the airway. The longer that the object stays lodged in the airway, the more precarious the situation becomes. A lifesaving measure used in these situations is the abdominal thrust which can be used to dislodge the object restore normal breathing.
So what exactly is an abdominal thrust? Abdominal thrusts are a life-saving technique that both bystanders and first responders can use to treat choking victims. An abdominal thrust allows a rescuer to administer a quick but strong thrust to a choking victim’s abdomen to help force the object out of the airway.
What is An Abdominal thrust?
Abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver, are a first-aid technique used to treat conscious choking victims in which the rescuer administers thrusts to a patient’s upper abdominal region. This skill is commonly taught during basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) classes, but it never receives as much attention as chest compressions and rescue breaths do.
The abdominal thrust maneuver can be performed in both children and adults via different techniques. The thrusting motion pushes air from the lungs in an upward motions through the throat to dislodge foreign objects and treat upper airway obstructions.
Abdominal thrusts are relatively simple to perform and don’t require any equipment or extensive training. Once you learn the proper technique and abdominal thrust hand placement, anyone can perform them. They’re a quick and accessible way to help a choking victim.
Although there are no absolute contraindications, the abdominal thrust maneuver is not recommended by the AHA for infants or unconscious patients. Also, pregnant subjects should receive management with sternal compressions, as opposed to abdominal.
How To Perform Abdominal thrusts
So how do you perform an abdominal thrust?
To give an abdominal thrust, you should follow the steps below:
ABDOMINAL Thrust FAQ's
When should you not use the abdominal thrust?
The abdominal thrust maneuver should not be performed on unconscious patients (who should receive chest compressions) or infants (who should receive backslaps).
Does an abdominal thrust hurt?
Abdominal thrusts can be painful, but that doesn’t mean you should hesitate to deliver them if a patient is choking. The most commonly reported complications are rib fractures and gastric or esophageal perforations.
Was the Heimlich maneuver replaced with the abdominal thrust?
Yes. The Heimlich maneuver was replaced by abdominal thrusts in the 2006 guidelines by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.
How can a rescuer tell the difference between mild airway obstruction and severe airway obstruction?
The rescuer should ask, “Are you choking?” If the victim nods yes, assistance is needed. Choking also often is indicated by the Universal Distress Signal (hands clutching the throat).
Learn CPR With Help-A-Heart CPR
Would you like to learn more about abdominal thrusts and other topics related to CPR and First Aid? Take a moment to view our training class schedule where you can also register directly for a CPR or First Aid course with Help-A-Heart CPR!
To find out more, contact us today through our online contact form or give us a call at (210) 380-5344.
How To Pass The ACLS Provider Exam!
How To Pass The ACLS Provider Exam!
Are you a healthcare provider and preparing to take the American Heart Association (AHA) ACLS Provider course? if you are enrolled in the AHA ACLS class, you might also be wondering how difficult the ACLS Provider Exam is? Our goal here at Help-A-Heart CPR is to help our student's be successful and achieve their various milestones. That's why we created this blog post to guide you along the way.
What IS acls?
The American Heart Association's Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (AHA ACLS) course has been created for healthcare providers who either directly or indirectly participate in the resuscitation of a patient, whether in or out of hospital. The ACLS course will allow providers to enhance their skills in the treatment of the adult victim of a cardiac arrest or other cardiopulmonary emergencies. ACLS also emphasizes the importance of basic life support to patient survival; the integration of effective basic life support with advanced cardiovascular life support interventions; and the importance of effective team interaction and communication during resuscitation.
ACLS Exam Preparation Hints
When you take the AHA ACLS certification course, throughout the course, the instructor will review the information that you need to pass the exam. However, we have provided a few tools and tips below to optimize your learning success.
A. Review the ECG Rhythms.
A review of the ECG rhythms is critical to success in the ACLS course. Often times, students struggle with ECG rhythm recognition during ACLS. So, if you feel that your knowledge of EGG rhythms is a bit lacking; you may to rake a ECG refresher course prior to taking the ACLS course and exam.
If you have additional experience in telemetry and ECG, this might help take a bit of pressure off when you’re going through the ACLS class. However, a review of ECG rhythms is often recommended for everyone. ECG rhythms can sometimes be a little overwhelming, so reviewing the basic rhythms and their corresponding pharmacology will just increase your confidence and your ability to be successful on the ACLS Provider exam.
B. Study the AHA ACLS Algorithms.
One of the most important things to memorize for the exam is the AHA 2020 ACLS algorithms. It is beneficial to memorize all of these algorithms so that you pass the exam with flying colors. The AHA ACLS algorithms are available in the required AHA 2020 ACLS provider manual so purchase the book prior to the class and review extensively.
The AHA 2020 ACLS algorithms are as follows:
Acute Coronary Syndrome Algorithm
Adult BLS Algorithm
Adult Bradycardia Algorithm
Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm
Adult Suspected Stroke Algorithm
Adult Tachycardia Algorithm
Intermediate Post-Cardiac Arrest Care Algorithm
Opioid-Associated Life-Threatening Emergency Algorithm
Unstable Tachycardia Algorithm
C. Memorize Medications and Doses
The AHA ACLS exam will also assess your knowledge and understanding of ACLS medications and dosages. In order to memorize these prior to your exam, you might want to try writing out flashcards, creating mnemonic devices, or using online quiz games.
The following are the ACLS medications you might need to know:
D. Take The American Heart Association Pre-Course Self Assessment.
The AHA ACLS pre-course self-assessment is an assessment tool with 50 questions that can be taken prior to the actual class. This self-assessment will serve as a tool to gauge your own knowledge of BLS, pharmacology, ECG rhythms, airway management, and the related AHA ACLS algorithms. The AHA ACLS pre-course self-assessment can be accessed here.
Learn ACLS Online With Help-A-Heart CPR
Are you now ready to take the ACLS exam? Getting an AHA ACLS certification has never been easier than with the ACLS online course. We offer a hybrid class in which you can take a self-paced series of online training modules. Then, just head to our training center for a brief skills practice. It’s a great way to fit training into your busy schedule as a healthcare professional and learn from the comfort of home.
If you’d prefer to learn in-person, we also offer traditional classroom courses. We have multiple convenient locations in Texas and a variety of course times to meet your training needs.
We’re here to help you get certified, so feel free to reach out. Contact us via our online form or give us a call at (210) 380-5344.
Is CPR Needed For Respiratory Arrest?
So you've determined that a patient or victim is unconscious but they have a heart rate and they are breathing on their own. How do you know if it is cardiac arrest of respiratory arrest?
Respiratory arrest is a life-threatening situation in which immediate intervention is needed. However time is critical so it is essential to understand the type of arrest the patient is experiencing and begin treatment as soon as possible. Let's look at what respiratory arrest is and causes and possible treatment. Additionally, an early assessment and recognition intervention is important. Further, knowledge and participation of CPR/AED/First Aid training will equip you with the answers to these questions.
What is Respiratory Arrest?
Respiratory arrest occurs when a patient has stopped breathing. During respiratory arrest, the body is no longer getting oxygen to the brain, heart, and other vital organs. Cardiac arrest almost always follows unless respiratory function is rapidly restored. Occasionally, the patient will have already been experiencing respiratory distress that has gone unidentified or untreated, ultimately developing into respiratory arrest.
What Causes respiratory Arrest?
A patient may experience respiratory arrest when the nerves and muscles cannot support respiration. There are many potential causes of this, including:
2. Head, chest or other major injury
3. Drug overdose
5. Neuromuscular diseases such as ALS
What Is The Difference Between respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest?
Sometimes, respiratory arrest can lead to cardiac arrest, and other times the two can occur at the same time. In both respiratory and cardiac arrest, the patient will be unconscious and will not be breathing. However, the difference between cardiac and respiratory arrest is that in cases of respiratory arrest, the patient will have a detectable pulse as the heart is still functioning and pumping blood throughout the body.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is when a patient is experiencing an electrical disturbance in the heart, which will interrupt the heart’s rhythm and potentially halt heart function, breathing, and consciousness. Blood flow will stop, and so during sudden cardiac arrest, the patient will not have a strong pulse.
How Do You Treat A person in Respiratory arrest?
The first responder should assess the emergency and begin an intervention once respiratory arrest is identified. Treatment should focu on supporting the patient while the lungs heal. The goal of supportive care is getting enough oxygen into the blood and delivered to your body to prevent damage and removing the injury that caused Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) to develop. Instead of administering CPR, you’ll want to follow basic life support (BLS) practices.
The following are some of the steps that can be taken to help manage respiratory arrest:
1. Open the airway
2. Apply bag-mask ventilation
3. Prepare for an advanced airway
4. Use the head tilt/chin lift maneuver if there is no cervical spine injury
5. Use the jaw thrust maneuver if there is a potential injury to the cervical spine
6. Check that you are providing sufficient oxygenation
7. Avoid over-ventilation
8. Monitor the pulse for any signs of cardiac arrest
Get your BLS Certification With Help-A-Heart CPR!
Any healthcare professional or laymen rescuer who might encounter a cardiovascular emergency at home or at their place of employment should participate in a BLS Provider certification with Help-A-Heart CPR. The expert team here at Help-A-Heart CPR can help answer any questions you may have––because we’ve been out on the field treating respiratory arrest and more as EMTs, paramedics, and nurses ourselves.
Key CPR Numbers and Ratios
Key CPR Numbers and Ratios!
There are a few important numbers to remember when learning CPR. From the rescue breathing rate for infants and children to the CPR compression rate for adults, it’s important to know and understand the correct parameters.
There are a few key statistics on CPR ratio and CPR rate for adults, children, and infants that we will highlight. These numbers are based on the latest research from the American Heart Association (AHA) as of November 2021.
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is the CEO of Help-A-Heart CPR, LLC and an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.