Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was invented in 1960 and soon went global. It is still the primary first aid method for resuscitation. At Defib For Life we want every Australian to know how to do CPR and use an AED in a health emergency.
Cardiac arrest can occur without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). This malfunction can stop the heart from pumping blood around the body.
Performing CPR is extremely important in this situation by enabling blood to continue pumping to vital organs, such as the brain, before an ambulance arrives.
The chain of survival
The chain of survival is just a serious of steps (forming a virtual “chain”) which give the best chance of survival from a sudden (SCA). If all the steps of the chain are followed promptly, then the victim has the best chance of surviving the cardiac arrest.
Early recognition and call for help
Early contact should be made to the emergency services after a cardiac arrest is recognised.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be commenced immediately after a cardiac arrest has occurred (ie, the patient has stopped breathing). Anyone can perform CPR, and ideally there should be no interruption in CPR before the ambulance arrives.
Early defibrillation followed by Advanced Life Support
A defibrillator is an electrical device which delivers a shock to the heart in an attempt to correct any abnormal electrical activity which has caused the cardiac arrest.
The good news is Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be arrested and the best chance of survival is to follow the chain of survival.