Take Heart Suffolk County is the seventh location in the United States to join this program with the goal of providing every patient of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) with: Immediate bystander CPR; quick access into the 911 system; Pre-arrival Medical Dispatch Instructions; Rapid defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED); Early Access to EMS & Advance Life Support.
How can you make the Difference?
Importance of Bystander Assistance
The national survival rate for SCA is a low five percent because most cardiac events are not witnessed by others, or sadly, bystanders who are at the scene do not intervene and provide lifesaving assistance. Often times, bystanders enter a stage of shock, or out of irrational fear of contracting a medical condition or legal ramifications; they choose not to attend to the victim. Others simply don’t know how to help. Either way, inactivity on the part of bystanders is deadly. And doing nothing should no longer be an option.
For every additional minute that passes while the victim is unattended, his/her chance of survival decreases by 10 percent. This number is sobering, as is the fact that most out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims who survive, are left with neurological deficits.
It’s estimated that as many as 30 to 50 percent of SCA victims would likely survive if CPR and AEDs were used within five minutes of collapse. These numbers are encouraging, as is the number of states across the country re-writing their Good Samaritan laws to now provide civil immunity protection to lay individuals who perform CPR or use an AED.
Being a bystander and providing help is not something reserved only for medical professionals or first responders. Anyone can make a difference – whether a housewife, plumber, crossing guard, radio personality or bank teller. You never know when you will be placed in a situation where you can provide assistance. Learning CPR and how to use an AED is simple and easy, as many local organizations offer FREE courses as active community service projects.
Check… Call… Compress in Case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
If you see someone collapse unexpectedly this is usually the result of cardiac arrest. Studies have shown that by doing chest compressions only without mouth-to-mouth breathing bystanders increase the person’s chance of survival. Follow these three steps to perform Chest-Compression-Only Resuscitation:
- Check for responsiveness. Shake the person and shout, “Are you OK?”
- Call--Direct someone to call 9-1-1 or make the call yourself if the person is unresponsive and struggling to breathe (gasping or snoring).
- Compress--Begin forceful chest compressions at a rate of at least 100 per minute. Position the victim back down on the floor. Place the heel of one hand on top of the other and place the heel of the bottom hand on the center of the victim’s chest. Lock your elbows and compress the chest forcefully; make sure you lift up enough to let the chest recoil.
If an AED (heart with lightening flash symbol) is available, turn the unit on and follow the voice instructions. If no AED (automated external defibrillator) is available, perform chest compressions continuously until the paramedics arrive. This is physically tiring so if someone else is available, take turns after each 100 chest compressions.
Schedule an On-site Training
Learn what it feels like to do Chest-Compression-Only CPR. Employers, schools, houses of worship and other community organizations are invited to schedule a training with life-like mannequins and automated external defibrillators (AEDs). To schedule a training please call 631.852.4856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org