Cardiac Arrest – What Do You Do?

Every year approximately 3000 people in Norway get sudden cardiac arrest outside hospitals. Most cardiac arrests happen in the home. During the first vital minutes there are usually not any medical professionals present, and you may need to take care of the patient. The chance of surviving a cardiac arrest is 2-3 times as high if cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is started before the ambulance arrives. Every minute running without CPR reduces the chance of survival by 7-10%.

When the heart stops pumping, the brain loses its blood supply and you will lose consciousness in a few seconds. With CPR, you can maintain the necessary circulation to the brain and heart while waiting for the ambulance.

  • Check if the person is conscious by tapping the persons shoulder and shout “Are you OK?”. If you do not get a response, call out for help.
  • Open the airway. With the person lying on his or her back, tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin.
  • Check for breathing. Listen carefully. If the breathing is normal keep monitoring for 1 minute, then place the person in the recovery position if he/she is still breathing normally.
  • If the breathing is not normal, call 113 or get a bystander to call while you start CPR.
  • Place your hands, one on top of the other, in the middle of the chest. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches (5-6 cm) deep and delivered at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Start with 30 compressions.
  • Deliver rescue breaths. With the person’s head tilted back slightly and the chin lifted, pinch the nose shut and place your mouth over the person’s mouth to make a complete seal. Blow into the person’s mouth to make the chest rise. Deliver two rescue breaths, and then continue compressions.
  • Continue CPR steps 30:2 until trained medical responder arrives on scene.

If an AED/defibrillator is available, connect it as quickly as possible without stopping CPR. Turn the AED on and follow the instructions.