Knowing how to respond when you find a person on a job site is having sudden cardiac arrest, or a heart attack, can improve the person’s chances of survival.
Immediately call 9-1-1, or have someone nearby call 9-1-1, and immediately begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Before beginning, make sure the person is unresponsive – not breathing, no pulse and, when you shake the person and shout at them, there is no response. Sometimes a person who is having cardiac arrest makes a grunting or snoring type breathing sound for several minutes.
If the person is not breathing normally, coughing or moving, begin chest compressions. Push down 2 to 2.4 inches in the center of the chest 30 times. Pump hard and fast at a rate of 100-120 pushes per minute – faster than once a second.
At the end of a minute, tilt the head back and lift the chin. Pinch the nose and cover the person’s mouth with your mouth, and blow until you see the chest rise. Give two breaths. Each breath should take one second. Continue with 30 pumps and two breaths until help arrives.
If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available, use it initially instead of performing chest compressions.
Before using an AED, check for puddles or water that are near the person. Move the person to a dry area, and stay away from wetness when delivering shocks (water conducts electricity).
Turn on the AED's power. The device will give you step-by-step voice prompts and you will see prompts on a screen.
Remove any clothing that is covering the person's chest. If the person's chest is wet, dry it. AEDs have sticky pads with sensors called electrodes. Apply the pads to the person's chest as pictured on the AED's instructions: one pad on the right center of the person's chest above the nipple, and the other pad slightly below the other nipple and to the left of the ribcage.
Make sure the sticky pads have good connection with the skin. If the connection is not good, the machine may repeat the phrase "check electrodes."
If the person has a lot of chest hair, trim it. (AEDs usually come with a kit that includes scissors and/or a razor.) If the person is wearing a medication patch that is in the way, remove it and clean the medicine from the skin before applying the sticky pads.
Remove metal necklaces and underwire bras. The metal may conduct electricity and cause burns. You can cut the center of the bra and pull it away from the skin.
Check the person for implanted medical devices, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Place the AED patch at least one inch away from these devices. Also, check for body piercings and remove them, if possible.
Check that the wires from the electrodes are connected to the AED. Make sure no one is touching the person, and then press the AED's "analyze" button. Stay clear while the machine checks the person's heart rhythm.
If a shock is needed, the AED will let you know when to deliver it. Stand clear of the person and make sure others are clear before you push the AED's "shock" button.
Start or resume CPR until emergency medical help arrives or until the person begins to move. Stay with the person until medical help arrives, and report all of the information you know about what has happened.
Neff Rental trains its employees on how to use CPR, and AED devices where available. For more information about Neff Rental, visit www.NeffRental.com , or call the nearest branch at 888-709-NEFF.