What if someone gets a heart attack in front of you and collapeses on the ground? Do you know what to do?
These are, of course, situations you hope you will never encounter, but what if you do see it happen? I saw, walking in Lloret de Mar, Spain, a lot of AED’s located on the boulevard. You will see this more and more, and I think that’s great!
Wil je deze blog in het Nederlands lezen, klik dan hier
This one is situated in my hometown in The Netherlands
An AED (Automatic External Defebrillator) is a device that is developed for simple use. Everybody should be able to work with it. The device itself will tell you exacty what to do. If you open the case of the AED you will find a step-by-step plan which you can use.
The most important thing to do is to stay calm
In case of a cardiac arrest or a heart attack make sure somebody calls the emergency number as soon as possible. Tell to the operator what´s happening. The responding medics needs to know this information.
In almost all of Europe there is one number to use, 112. Unfortunately that is not a global number, yet. In America and Canada they are using the famous 911. In Asia it is more difficult, I found 110 for Indonesia, 113 for Vietnam, 199 for Thailand etc.
CPR (CardioPulmonary Resusctiation)
Before the AED is on the scene and gives you instructions you need to start giving CPR manually. Limit the time to a minimum of absence of oxygen in the body. By giving CPR oxygen will get in the lungs also.
When do you need to start CPR? If you cannot see or feel any breathing and feel no heartbeat, you need to start CPR. Start with 30 chest compressions. You do this by placing your hands on the middle of the sternum and you press as deep as 2 inches.
After these 30 compressions, start with Rescue Breathing. Before starting you will lift the chin of the victim. At the same time, turn the head a bit backworth and you’ll be opening the airway. Then pinch the nose closed with your other hand. Start rescue breathing. Breathe for 1 sescond and check if the chest rises. If this happens, you know you´ve done it correctly, inserting oxygen into the lungs of the victim. When the chest is back to normal level repeat this one more time for a total of two rescue breaths. Then do start chest compressions again for 30 times as described above.
Meanwhile, the AED case needs to be unpacked
When you open this suitcase you will see a step-by-step plan. This is an universal and simple visual guide to follow. The device itself is connected to the suitcase. The only thing you need to do is open it and press the on/off button to activate it. After activating it wil give you vocal instructions on what to do.
First, clear the chest of the victim. Get the clothes out of the way and get the AED stickers in the right place. Try to do this while compressing and rescue breathing so you won’t interrupt this process too much.
If the victim has a hairy chest, you need to shave the chest so the stickers will grip well. For those situations, a razerblade is included.
Next, apply the stickers to the victim. There are two stickers and there are two options for how to apply them. One way is to apply the first sticker on the right side of the chest and the second on the left side underneath the arm. (A on the picture shown). The other way is to apply the first sticker beneath the left side of the chest and the second on the right side of the back of the victim. (B on the picture shown) Never apply a sticker on the nipple to prefend blisters.
After applying the stickers, the AED instructs you to keep away. The AED will do some measurements. It will calculate if it is nesecary to give a shock, or if continuing CPR is enough. In both cases, it will tell you what to do.
No shock applied? Continue CPR. If the AED applies a shock, continue CPR afterwards.
The voice will clearly tell you to continue CPR and how often you need to give compressions and when to give rescue breathing. It will even give a rate for your compressions. You need to give 30 compresssions and 2 times rescue breathing as explained above. Continue this untill the ambulance and medical assistence has arrived.
If the AED gives instructions while compressing or breathing, you need to listen to it. Maybe the victim´s heartbeat returns or the AED wants to apply another shock. The AED will definitely state clearly what actions need to be taken.
Even if you have never had a lesson in CPR and you don’t know if what you’re doing is good, remember this: if you don’t act, you know for sure this victim will not live another day. In such situation, everything you do is good.
If there is someone around who has taken a CPR course, this person will likely step forward and take action. If nobody steps forward, be that hero and do know what you can do for a fellow human being!
There are many sites you can visit for information and tips on what to do in life threatening situations. If you want to know more click here