Before the ­Paramedics Arrive

In an emergency, every second counts. First aid can be administered by every layman – through chest compressions, staunching a bleeding or recovery position. You can learn what to do to save a life through courses offered by emergency services personnel.

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in Europe. Photo: Fotolia - pixel friend

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in Europe. Photo: Fotolia – pixel friend

It’s an astounding number: with more than 350,000 cases each year, sudden cardiac arrest remains among the most common causes of death in Europe, according to the European Resuscitation Council. Numerous other studies from the United States corroborate this. However, many of those affected could hope to survive, if the general ­public’s ability to administer chest compressions was improved – both in terms of number of people and their quality of their technique. The problem is that many of us would like to help, but don’t know what to do when disaster strikes. Others are fearful of doing something wrong, and instead do ­nothing.

Feat of endurance: Compressions need to be at a rate of 100 per minute. Photo: Thomas KüppersLive wires: The correct affixing of the defibrillator’s electrodes also needs to be learned. Photo: Thomas KüppersTest for breathing: Before doing anything else to help, check the patient’s breathing. Photo: Thomas KüppersTesting rolle: Via an app, the effectiveness of the resuscitation attempts is evaluated. Photo: Thomas KüppersAnother tech solution: The frequency and depth of the chest compressions is also monitored with state-of-the-art technology. Photo: Thomas Küppers

“A person’s chances of survival of a cardiac arrest drop by ten percent each minute without assistance. After only five minutes, brain damage is probable,” explains ­Joachim Böttinger, a Docent of the ‘15 Minute Life-Saving Academy’ based near Stuttgart. Just these few facts make it clear what is to follow – immediate help is absolutely critical. “Anybody that can master the simple hand motions can save a life,” Peter Cartes adds. Apart from his work with the Academy, he is a helicopter emergency doctor, anesthetist and intensive care specialist.

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

1) Tiredness or Weakness
2) Shortness of Breath
3) Dizziness or Vertigo
4) Cold Sweats
5) Chest Pains

llustration: Marina ua /istock

lllustration: Marina ua /istock

Just how simple these survival-critical hand movements are, is also shown by the Academy’s professionals in regularly-held seminars at DEKRA in a relaxed atmosphere. Highly practical demonstrations are coupled with group practice on digitally-networked resuscitation mannequins. “All of the processes can be learned in just a few minutes – as a result we can quickly enable amateur lifesavers to provide efficient medical help in the case of an emergency,” Böttinger explains. One can do absolutely nothing wrong here, reiterates the ‘rescue service fossil,’ as he calls himself, thereby encouraging his students to take action and courageously intervene.

Help in an Emergency – here’s how:

1) Check whether the patient is conscious and if they are breathing.
2) If this is not the case, call the emergency services or instruct another person to make the emergency call.
3) Uncover the patient’s chest and compress the middle of the patient’s ribcage five centimeters deep, and at a rate of 100 compressions per minute, until the emergency services arrive.



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