Car­diac ar­rest

Prima (UK) - - Best Of Health -

When some­one’s heart stops beat­ing dur­ing a car­diac ar­rest, blood is no longer pumped around the body. But if you can keep cir­cu­la­tion mov­ing un­til help ar­rives, you can boost their chances of sur­vival.

1 Check for a re­sponse by gen­tly shak­ing their shoul­ders. If they don’t re­spond, call for help but don’t leave them. Tilt their head back, then lift their chin. Check if the per­son is breath­ing nor­mally by look­ing for chest move­ments, lis­ten­ing for breath­ing and feel­ing for breath on your cheek. Look, lis­ten and feel for 10 sec­onds.

2 If the per­son isn’t breath­ing, is gasp­ing, or if you’re not sure if their breath­ing is nor­mal, start CPR. Push hard and fast on the cen­tre of their chest – us­ing the heels of your hands and in­ter­lock­ing your fin­gers – at a rate of two pushes per se­cond. Give 30 com­pres­sions.

3 The gold stan­dard of CPR is to give res­cue breaths – where you open their air­way, pinch the nose closed and breathe into the mouth. Give two res­cue breaths af­ter ev­ery 30 chest com­pres­sions. But if you’re not trained in CPR, just do­ing com­pres­sions is far bet­ter than do­ing noth­ing.

Keep go­ing un­til paramedics ar­rive, or the per­son wakes up – in which case, place them in the re­cov­ery po­si­tion. There’s a re­ally help­ful video fea­tur­ing the ex-foot­baller Vin­nie Jones. Visit bhf.org.uk and search ‘hands only CPR’.

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