It’s an ordinary Monday morning and everything is going according to plan at work. Suddenly, in one split second, everything changes. A customer nearby collapses. You hear them hit the floor. Chaos whirls around you. What next?
Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anywhere without warning—in your grocery store, during the game or at the office. This unpredictable event is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and globally claims more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms and house fires combined.1
Approximately 350,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrest occur outside of the hospital each year in the United States.2 Unfortunately, nine out of 10 of those victims don’t get the help they need before an ambulance arrives.3 Immediate action is vital, as a victim’s chance of survival dramatically decreases for every minute without treatment.4
Hopefully, your workplace has a ready automated external defibrillator (AED) nearby.
AEDs are lightweight, portable devices designed to save people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest in a public setting and can be used on children, teens and adults. Even bystanders can operate them by following audible and visual instructions during an emergency.
Defibrillators detect the heart’s rhythm and send potentially lifesaving shocks to the heart if needed. They can help correct an arrhythmia and restore a normal heartbeat if the heart suddenly stops beating.
Electrode pads are placed on the chest and send information about the victim’s heart to the device. The defibrillator analyzes the heart rhythm to determine whether an electric shock is needed. If so, the shock is delivered through the electrode pads.
Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest while waiting for an AED to arrive to the scene can help improve the chance of survival.
1. Start CPR
2. Ask someone to call 911 and locate an AED
3. Place electrodes on the chest according to AED instructions
4. If the AED advises a shock, ensure the area around the person is clear
5. Follow the voice prompts from the AED until EMS arrives
The device may instruct you to begin CPR again after delivering the first shock. Some AEDs, like Stryker’s LIFEPAK CR2 defibrillator, deliver escalating energy if multiple shocks are needed for difficult-to-defibrillate patients.
Help keep your workplace safe with Stryker’s full line of defibrillators. With the right solution for all public places, we can help improve SCA survival rates in your community using the latest AED technology.
2. Benjamin EJ, Virani SS, Callaway CW, Chamberlain AM, Chang AR, Cheng S, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2018 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2018;137(12): e67-e492.
3. AHA. CPR facts and stats. n.d. [Cited 2018 May 11.]
4. Graham R, McCoy M, Schultz A. Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival, A Time to Act. Institute of Medicine Report, 2015.