How to recognize cardiac arrest

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  • Rapid recognition of cardiac arrest is the essential first step of successful CPR 10.
  • As per the guidelines, the lay rescuer who witnesses a person collapse or comes across an apparently unresponsive person should confirm unresponsiveness by tapping the person on the shoulder and shouting: “are you all right?”
  • If the person does not respond, the rescuer calls for help or ambulance and initiates excellent chest compressions.
  • Lay rescuers should not attempt to assess the victim’s pulse and, unless the patient has what appear to be normal respirations, should assume the patient is apneic or without respiration.
  • Remember even well–trained professionals can have difficulty determining if breathing is adequate or pulses are present in unresponsive adults.
  • After assessing responsiveness, health care providers should quickly check the patient’s pulse.
  • While doing so, it is reasonable to visually assess the patient’s respirations.
  • It is appropriate to assume the patient is in cardiac arrest if there is no breathing or abnormal breathing (gasping) or if a pulse cannot be readily palpated within 10 seconds.
  • The key point is not to delay CPR.

How to recognize cardiac arrest

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Rapid recognition of cardiac arrest is the essential first step of successful CPR 10.

As per Guidelines, the lay rescuer who witnesses a person collapse or comes across an apparently unresponsive person should confirm unresponsiveness by tapping the person on the shoulder and shouting: “are you all right?”

If the person does not respond, the rescuer calls for help or ambulance and initiates excellent chest compressions.

Lay rescuers should not attempt to assess the victim’s pulse and, unless the patient has what appear to be normal respirations, should assume the patient is apneic or without respiration.

Remember even well-trained professionals can have difficulty determining if breathing is adequate or pulses are present in unresponsive adults.

After assessing responsiveness, health care providers should quickly check the patient’s pulse. While doing so, it is reasonable to visually assess the patient’s respirations.

It is appropriate to assume the patient is in cardiac arrest if there is no breathing or abnormal breathing (gasping) or if a pulse cannot be readily palpated within 10 seconds.

The key point is to not delay CPR.

Why the word CPR 10?

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All my life, I have taught medicine in the form of formulas. The CPR 10 was created so that the public could remember the process of cardiopulmonary resuscitation or revival after sudden cardiac death.

There is substantial evidence to suggest that CPR is effective in the first 10 minutes of cardiac arrest. After 10 minutes of death, there is practically no chance of recovery unless patient is in hypothermia.

There is also enough evidence that at least 10 minutes of cardiac massage should be given with a speed of 100 per minutes.

So, we created a formula of 10 which means that – within 10 minutes of death (earlier the better), at least for the next 10 minutes (longer the better, up to 25 minutes), compress the centre of the chest of the victim with a speed of 10×10 i.e. 100 per minute.

Numerologically also, the CPR equates to number 10. In English alphabets, ‘C’ comes at number ‘3’, ‘P’ comes at number ‘16’ and ‘R’ comes at number ‘18’. If we add the three i.e. C=3, P=16, R=18 (3 + 16 + 18 = 37) and, if we further add the two digits in ‘3 + 7’, the total we get is ‘10’. So, numerologically ‘CPR 10’ should be an effective way to remember.

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