Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in school affects 7,000 students annually.1 There is no warning before SCA strikes and is witnessed 50% of the time.2 High-quality CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) are a victims best chance of survival. When a victim collapses from SCA, you have three minutes to begin CPR and apply an AED. Every minute of delayed defibrillation leads to a 10% decrease in the survival of the victim.3 When time is of the essence, is your school prepared to respond?
Follow these steps to help a victim of SCA. And most importantly, don’t panic.
1. Check the area for safety. Before beginning treatment to the victim assess the scene for safety. Make sure you put yourself in the best position to help the victim. You do not want to put yourself in danger and become a victim yourself.
2. Check for responsiveness and call for help.Once you’ve determined the scene is safe, check the victim for responsiveness by asking, “Are you okay?”. Scan the victim to see if they are breathing and if a pulse is present. If the victim is unresponsive, ask someone to call 911 and get an AED. Next begin CPR.
3. Apply proper chest compressions.Chest compressions at the proper rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute at a depth of 2 to 2.4 inches are critical to move blood out of the heart and to the vital organs. Try to avoid leaning on the chest and minimize any pause between compressions. High-quality CPR is critical to ensure the survival of the victim.
4. Follow the AED prompts. When the AED arrives, turn it on, attached the pads to the victims bare chest, and follow the prompts. Make sure not to touch the patient while the AED analyzes the victim’s heartrate. If the AED advises a shock, make sure to stand clear until the shock is delivered. If the victim remains unresponsive, resume CPR until emergency responders arrive.
Download this poster with step-by-step guidance on assisting SCA victims and help your school be prepared to respond to an SCA emergency.
To learn more about how the ZOLL® AED Plus® can protect your school, click here.
1Atkins DL, et al. Circulation. 2015;132(suppl 2): S519–S525.
2Mozaffarian D, et al. Circulation. 2015;131:e29–e322
3AHA guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care science 2010:122:S706