Picture this situation – you are at work in your office, when suddenly you spot a colleague, who has slumped forward over his/her desk.

Although this is not a normal sight, it is definitely one that cannot be ignored. The first thing you do is approach the person to investigate and call out his/her name. Worryingly, there is no response.

What you notice next is that he/she is not breathing plus his/her face and lips are not a normal colour. Also, you take note that his/her body is shivering.

What would your first thoughts be?  Is he/she drunk, or is he/she suffering a cardiac arrest?

Other members of the office are now beginning to gather. Everybody is just standing about, watching but doing nothing. Most importantly, all the time people just stand by and watch, the clock is ticking, which means that the chances of survival for this person diminish with each passing moment.

The question is: Would you know what to do?

This is certainly an utterly terrifying moment to be presented with, but it is an all too common situation, where the survival of the person relies upon the knowledge of those, who are present and can intervene ahead of the emergency services arriving at the scene.

At Staff Defence, we provide the courses, which can help you manage the situation described above. Here is the important information, which serves as a starting point in dealing with a cardiac arrest.

Cardiac Arrest:

A cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack. In the event of a heart attack, the heart is still beating, but the casualty has chest pains, caused by a sudden obstruction of the blood supply into the heart. However, a cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating, which results in the person not breathing and becoming unconscious. It is true that a heart attack can very quickly turn into a cardiac arrest.

The Human Heart:

The human heart is a pump, which pushes the blood, filled with oxygen, to the many organs of the body and the brain, in order to allow each one of us to function and survive.

As the heart stops beating, the person will fall into unconsciousness and after a few minutes of the heart stopping, he or she will die. It is that serious, which is why we are required to act immediately.

Immediate Action:

CardioPulmonary Resuscitation or CPR is a lifesaving medical procedure, which when given early, can greatly assist in the chain of survival for the casualty.

CPR is given to someone who is in cardiac arrest and unconscious, not breathing or not breathing normally. This procedure helps to pump blood around the person’s body when their heart cannot.

Therefore, most importantly, don’t waste any time fumbling around, trying to feel for a pulse.  Be aware that if the heart is beating, but the person has stopped breathing, which is called a respiratory arrest, it will soon become a cardiac arrest quickly without CPR.  The main message is to get that oxygenated blood around their body!! See below what you should do in when presented by someone with a cardiac arrest:-

  • Firstly, call for help, shout or use a phone and call 999.
  • Open up his/her outer clothing and expose his/her chest. Place your hands onto the centre of his/her chest and begin chest compressions at a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 breaths. You are now operating as the person’s heart.
  • Tell any bystanders to look for a defibrillator – CPR alone cannot fully resuscitate a person, so send others to go and meet the emergency services.  You are rarely far, in an urban area, from a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD).

When CPR and Defibrillation are provided within the first 4 minutes of any emergency arising, you dramatically increase the likelihood of his/her survival.

How Does CPR Help?

By performing chest compressions and rescue breaths, you are actually taking over the role of the person’s heart and lungs by pumping blood and oxygen around his/her body.

Every second counts – any delay can quickly reduce a person’s chance of survival.

How Do Defibrillators Help?

When a person has a cardiac arrest, a defibrillator can be used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. Defibrillators are simple and safe to use, and will not shock unless it’s appropriate. They are available to the public in busy locations like shopping centres, sports stadiums and train stations across the UK.

Staff Defence Ltd Training Courses

Confidence is key here, and the confidence comes from being trained in the drills of CPR, together with the use of a defibrillator.  This is where Staff Defence Ltd can provide you with the training, either as a group or individually.  You can either learn the skills of basic first aid with the Emergency First Aid at Work, which is 6 hours of learning, or you can spend 3 days conducting the full First Aid at Work course.

Both courses are delivered by Staff Defence’s experienced Instructors and are certificated by Highfields awarding body, which means you acquire nationally-recognised accreditation.

“For more information about any of Staff Defence courses, please contact us by telephone or email, as follows:-

T: 0203 997 7900