Bystanders Are Key To You Surviving a Heart Attack

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CPR MUST Start Before the Ambulance Arrives

If you are out shopping, dining, touring, visiting, walking, or simply leisurely enjoying yourself in public, you are likely going to cross paths of many strangers. Strangers that you normally wouldn’t give any attention to or care about. Your main goal is to go out and have fun. However, if you suddenly find yourself having chest pains and collapse because you are having a heart attack, your very survival depends on those very strangers that you passed.

A heart attack is when the flow of blood to a section to the heart becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow is not restored quickly, that section of the heart begins to die. The level of damage depends on how long blood supply is cut off. The result can be mild damage, or it could lead to severe, lifelong problems.-Heart & Stroke Foundation

Resuscitation and survival depends on starting cardiopulmonary resusciatation (CPR) immediately without delay

The Rule of 3

3 Weeks

The length of time adults can survive without food

3 Days

The length of time adults can survive without water

3 Minutes

The length of time adults can survive without oxygen

  • Fact: Ambulances take longer than 3 minutes to arrive at the scene. In Edmonton AB, the response time is 13-18 minutes
  • Fact: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) must be started right away
  • Fact: If CPR is started right away, your chance of surviving doubles and may even triple
  • Your chance of surviving without bystanders intervening is 3%

Death is almost certain without bystanders intervening and giving CPR.

Any CPR is better than no CPR. Chest compressions and allowing the chest to recoil between each compression is crucial. If you have to choose one, choose compressions over giving breaths

  • Fear of Injurying the person.
  • Concern for providing poor or incorrect CPR.
  • Inability or lack of knowledge of how to perform CPR.
  • Legal liability.
  • Risk of infectious disease transmission.

Reality

Public Automated External Defrbrillators (AEDs) electronically tells the Bystander what to do and how to perform CPR

Have no fear if you have never taken a CPR course or don't even know the first step of CPR. All you need to do is find the AED where you are, open it, and press the power-on button. Then sit back, listen, and follow the instructions.

Adult Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in a nutshell

  1. Press firmly down in the center of the chest.
  2. Allow the chest to fully recoil.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2, until the ambulance arrives
  4. Aim for approximately 100-120 compressions per minute. An easy way to remember is to compress to the tempo of the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.
  5. Compress to 1/3 the depth of the chest or 5 cm. Remember: If the chest pops, don’t stop. “If you hit the spine, that’s not so fine.”-Jason from Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

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