November is CPR Month
Heart attacks can happen to any one, at any time, at any place.
They continue to kill more Canadians than any other cause of death. Heart attacks claim the lives of more than 23,000 Canadians every year.
Heart attacks may sometimes lead to cardiac arrest - a condition in which a person stops breathing and their heart stops pumping blood. A heart attack causes cardiac arrest when so much heart tissue is damaged that it can’t pump blood anymore.
Do you know what to do?
When coming upon someone who may have had a heart attack, here are the steps to take:
BEGIN EMERGENCY SCENE MANAGEMENT
. Take charge.
. Call out for help.
. Assess hazards and make the area safe.
. Find out what happened.
. Identify yourself and offer to help.
. If head or spinal injuries are suspected,
support the head and neck.
. Assess responsiveness.
. Send or go for medical help and an AED.
Check breathing. If the casualty is not breathing. Begin CPR.
1. Make sure casualty is on a firm flat surface.
2. Place hands on centre of chest.
3. Position shoulders directly over hands and keep elbows locked.
4. Compress 30 times. Push hard - Push fast
5. Pinch nose and make a tight seal over the mouth.
6. Give 2 breaths.
7. Continue cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths until help arrives or an AED is available.
If you are untrained or unsure of your skills - don't give up! Give compressions only CPR - pushing hard and fast at a rate of at least 100 times each minute.
This information is no substitute for thorough knowledge of First Aid or CPR! St John Ambulance holds First Aid and CPR courses throughout Alberta and the rest of Canada.