Save people in cardiac arrest | Updated: 2023-10-19
Cardiac arrest refers to the loss of mechanical function of the human heart, featuring the disappearance of circulation signs. It usually takes place outside of hospital and doesn't present any early warning symptoms. Once the heartbeat stops, the survival rate will fall by seven percent to 10 percent for each minute if there is a delay in rescue efforts. A delay of over 10 minutes will result in fatality.
It is near impossible to find a doctor, arrive at a medical institution and receive professional treatment within such a short time frame. Therefore, it is essential for the public to acquire basic self-rescue and mutual rescue skills for cardiac arrest. People around the patients must seize the "golden time" for emergency treatment after cardiac arrest.
Early call for medical aid
One of the main reasons that the public seldom carry out medical intervention to people with cardiac arrest is the lack of professional knowledge to identify cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest may be mistaken for fainting or seizure episodes. 
When a patient becomes unconscious and stops breathing, people around him or her should immediately call the emergency services for help. The hotline workers at the emergency center can assist them in assessing the patient's condition, give encouragement and provide guidance on the proper response. Hotline workers are expected to guide phone-makers to identify cardiac arrest and initiate on-site rescue, saving more time for medical workers before their arrival.
Early chest compressions
It is of great importance to perform early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help the patients stay alive before the arrival of ambulances. It is also crucial to save the patients' life and restore brain functions and the only way to restart their heart. The most simple measure of CPR is to implement chest compression, which can fundamentally restore minimal blood circulation in comparison with doing nothing at all. Thanks to its simplicity and lower concern in terms of potential risks associated with artificial respiration, it is thus highly recommended for the public to take part in emergency response. Research shows that chest compressions alone can increase the survival rate of cardiac arrest patients by 60 percent.
Early ventricular fibrillation
About 80 percent of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF) and early defibrillation is the most effective method. An automatic external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that can automatically identify a shockable rhythm and deliver an electric shock to help restore the normal function of involved patients' hearts when a shockable rhythm is detected. For patients with other rhythm disorders (such as asystole and normal rhythm), the AED advises its operators not to deliver an electric shock and provides guidance on the beginning and end of CPR. For patients in cardiac arrest with a shockable rhythm, their survival rate and the proportion of good neurologic outcomes for the public using an AED for 30 days are much higher than those who do not use one.