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HomeThe Response Time Necessary For Cardiac Arrest

The Response Time Necessary For Cardiac Arrest

What Is The Response Time Necessary For Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Responding to any health emergency is a crucial part of basic human responsibility -  with that being said, what is the response time necessary for cardiac arrest that will ensure a higher survival rate?

Cardiac arrest is a serious and life-threatening condition wherein the heart suddenly stops functioning. This abrupt loss of heart functioning can happen at any time and causes the blood circulation to rest, which leads to the stoppage and impeding of brain power and vital organ functioning. This causes him/her to become unconscious and collapse. Cardiac arrest is mostly caused due to sudden ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.

Time is critical in the treatment of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, which leads to many research studies regarding response times. Although it is difficult to define an optimal response time for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, research suggests that shorter response times are associated with increased odds of survival with favorable neurological outcomes.

How Quickly Does CPR Need To Be Performed?

When someone has a sudden cardiac arrest, every minute counts. By calling 9-1-1 immediately and then beginning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when directed by the dispatcher, you can help increase a person's chances of survival.

CPR is done to mimic a beating heart, by supplying blood and oxygen to vital organs through chest compressions and assisted breathing, it grants a patient more time while waiting for medical first responders to arrive - and it's the best thing you can do if someone has a cardiac arrest. Studies show, however, that the damage to a person's brain from a lack of oxygen starts after about 7 minutes. This means people recover less if CPR is started more than 6 minutes after their heart has stopped.

The Steps For Responding To Cardiac Arrest

People who witness a cardiac arrest can often recognize the situation and provide help. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are easy to use, and CPR is well understood. Together they can create a positive change. So, what are the steps to follow when someone is suffering from cardiac arrest?

  • Check for responsiveness;
  • Call 9-1-1 or direct a bystander to do it;
  • Send another bystander for an AED;
  • Begin CPR while you wait for the AED to arrive;
  • Use the AED as soon as possible;
  • Continue life saving efforts until paramedics arrive.

There are three main components to the equation here: bystander recognition of cardiac arrest, bystander recognition of a victim's need for CPR and AED use, and bystander comfort and confidence in their ability to deliver CPR. The general conclusion here is that by increasing CPR and AED preparedness and availability, we will see an increase in the likelihood of survival for a cardiac arrest victim.

The Takeaway

The sooner you begin CPR, the more likely you are to increase a person's chances of surviving. As we've learned in this article, a sudden cardiac arrest can occur at any time. Everyone needs to know how to help someone who has a sudden cardiac arrest, and everyone needs to understand that help should be sought immediately. Keep a defibrillator (like those found at AED Advantage) nearby and on hand if needed, so you can treat a person who has a sudden cardiac arrest quickly once it happens. By doing these things, you could save someone's life.

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