Sudden cardiac arrest , arrest (when the heart suddenly stops beating) is something that can happen toanybody at any time. The person affected immediately loses consciousness and stops breathing normally, or even at all.


Unless a few simple steps are taken inside 5 minutes — above all heart massage — the person is unlikely to survive after a cardiac arrest.


The emergency services are almost never able to reach the scene within 5 minutes after a cardiac arrest.


The chances of the person surviving will be three times higher if bystanders carry out very simple resuscitation measures (heart massage 100 times a minute)! You are the only person who can now save the person’s life!


About 50–80 cases of cardiac arrest per 100,000 people happen every year that are recorded in the resuscitation registry. That’s about 40,000–64,000 people per year. About 10–20 percent of the patients are able to leave hospital again afterwards. Getting the best possible coordination all the way along the chain of rescue services gives the patients involved a crucial advantage. The first link in the rescue chain is called “lay resuscitation” — done by non-professional helpers. Experience from other countries shows that good lay resuscitation doubles or triples the survival rate for people with cardiac arrest. That would mean more additional people surviving than the number who die in car accidents every year in Germany.


Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can save lives. And they’re quite easy to use! An AED is a device that’s available in lots of public places and buildings, attached to walls like a fire-extinguisher. The device itself helps you use it, and it can apply a life-saving electric shock to the heart if needed.


There is a very high probability that at least once during your own life, you’ll be able to save someone else’s life using simple methods. It’s also quite likely that the person involved will be someone you know well — it could be your parents, a friend, or a relative.


If you’ve had some training in mouth-to-mouth ventilation, then you can do that as well as heart massage — at a ratio of 30 heart compressions to two ventilations. If you don’t have any training in it, then you should concentrate on heart massage. That’s already doing a lot of good!


You can’t do anything wrong! You’re perfectly right to carry out heart massage and use an AED — even if you’ve never done it before or not for a long time, it could still be crucial for saving the person’s life.



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