Cardiac Distress or Cardiac Arrest?

BLS, or basic life support, certification online courses can help teach you CPR skills to save someone in cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is different from cardiac distress.  The main difference between the two is the heart beat. When you go into cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating. If you have current CPR certification, you know exactly what to do in this type of scenario, using your first aid and AED training to help revive and/or keep blood and oxygen flowing through the body until emergency medical help arrives to take over. Cardiac distress is caused by stress and is often referred to as a severe anxiety or panic attack. The heart does not stop beating, although the victim of cardiac distress can feel many of the same symptoms as an individual in cardiac arrest. When someone is experiencing cardiac distress,  first aid and CPR training online programs will not be effective treatment because the heart does not stop beating. Individuals who experience cardiac distress can learn techniques to help manage these severe panic and anxiety attacks, such as taking deep breaths to decrease the heart rate or practicing yoga and regular exercise to manage stress long term. Some individuals can take medications along with proper self-management skills to lessen the frequency and duration of severe panic or anxiety attacks.  Individuals who experience cardiac distress are often suffering from other conditions as well such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Taking control of your health, both physically and mentally, from a holistic perspective can help give you a proactive mindset on preventative healthcare.

Many health certification courses including first aid and CPR recertification programs go over cardiac distress and cardiac arrest so that you can take appropriate action and feel confident in any emergency situation. It can be difficult for first responders who do not have a medical background to determine the difference between the two cardiac events. Checking the pulse and finding the heart beat will be the best indicator to determine which course of action needs to be taken. Sometimes, both events can happen together.  It is possible for someone in cardiac distress to be in such emotional pain that it triggers the heart to go into cardiac arrest. If this happens, you call 911 and begin CPR as taught in your certification courses. An AED device can be used as well to try to shock the heart back to its natural rhythm. When using an AED device, remember to stand back when the device is scanning the heart and pulse so that you do not get a false reading. The machine will automatically administer a shock if needed. After the first shock, begin CPR again and leave the electrodes in place in case you need to go through that process again. CPR training can be one of your most valuable tools in saving the life of another. Don’t delay and sign up for CPR training and certification today.

CPR Certifications
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