First aid treatment for cardiac arrest

Saving lives: The importance of first aid treatment for cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening emergency that can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time. It occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, depriving the brain and other vital organs of oxygen. In such a critical situation, immediate intervention through first aid can make the difference between life and death. In this blog, Rose delves into the crucial aspects of first aid treatment for cardiac arrest, highlighting its significance, key practices, and legal considerations.

Key facts and statistics

  • Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death globally, claiming millions of lives each year.
  • In the UK alone, approximately 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually.
  • The chances of survival decrease by 10% with every passing minute without intervention.
  • Effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can double or even triple the likelihood of survival.

Key definitions

  • Cardiac arrest - A sudden cessation of heart function, leading to loss of consciousness and absence of pulse and breathing.
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) - A life-saving technique involving chest compressions and rescue breaths to maintain blood flow and oxygenation to vital organs.
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) - A portable device that delivers an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm during cardiac arrest.

Legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • The UK's Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate first aid equipment, facilities, and trained personnel.
  • Resuscitation Council UK sets guidelines for CPR and AED use, emphasising early recognition, prompt emergency services activation, and high-quality chest compressions.
  • The British Heart Foundation promotes public access to defibrillation programs to increase the availability of AEDs in communities.

Recognising cardiac arrest

Early recognition of cardiac arrest is crucial for timely intervention. Common signs include sudden collapse, unresponsiveness, absence of breathing, and lack of pulse. If you suspect cardiac arrest, immediately call emergency services and initiate CPR.

Performing CPR

CPR involves alternating cycles of chest compressions and rescue breaths. Place the heel of one hand on the centre of the victim's chest, interlock the other hand, and compress the chest at least 5 cm deep and at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. After 30 compressions, provide two rescue breaths and continue until help arrives or an AED is available.

Using an AED

AEDs are user-friendly devices that analyse the heart rhythm and deliver shocks if necessary. Follow the device's voice prompts, attach the pads to the victim's bare chest, and allow the AED to analyse. If advised, deliver a shock and resume CPR immediately.


  • Encourage workplace first aid training for employees to enhance readiness in responding to emergencies.
  • Advocate for public access defibrillation initiatives to increase AED availability in communities.
  • Regularly review and update first aid policies and procedures to align with current guidelines and best practices.


Cardiac arrest is a critical medical emergency where every second counts. By equipping ourselves with the knowledge and skills of first aid treatment, we can become empowered to intervene effectively and potentially save lives. Let us commit to promoting a culture of preparedness and responsiveness in our communities, ensuring that no life is lost to cardiac arrest due to lack of intervention.

Empower yourself with life-saving skills today. Click here to enrol in our comprehensive first aid training courses and qualifications today and become a valuable asset in your workplace and community.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

The importance of first aid treatment for cardiac arrest - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK

Contact us

Just added to your wishlist:
My Wishlist
You've just added this product to the cart:
Go to Basket




Sold Out