Numerous accidents occur every day, even in the workplace, so it's essential to know how to act in these critical moments that can make the difference between life and death. Holidays are approaching soon (or have already arrived for some!), so here are some tips to avoid the worst and ensure a successful vacation with loved ones.
We will discuss the right actions to take to save someone in the event of a cardiac arrest or choking.
Cardiac Arrest: Act quickly to increase survival chances.
Cardiac arrest is an emergency situation in which the heart suddenly stops beating. Every minute counts because survival chances decrease rapidly. Here are the essential steps to follow in the event of a cardiac arrest.
To recognize a cardiac arrest, two crucial things must be done:
👉 The first thing: stimulate. You should speak to the person, ask if they can hear you.
👉 The second thing: check if the person is breathing by bringing your ear close to their airways and looking to see if their chest rises.
If the person is not breathing and not responding, it's a cardiac arrest.
In this case, there are three important steps to follow:
👉 Alert: Ask for help from people around you and immediately call 999 (or the emergency number in your region) to notify the paramedics. During the call, be concise and provide your exact location.
👉 Perform chest compressions: While keeping the emergency services on the phone, continue chest compressions and never stop. If there are people around you, don't hesitate to ask them to take over every 1 to 2 minutes. For chest compressions, it's essential to have your arms straight and be directly above the person. Compress the chest with both hands in the center, making it sink 5 to 6 cm. Don't be afraid to use force, even if it risks breaking ribs rather than letting the person die! You should aim for 100 compressions per minute, which corresponds to the rhythm of the song "Staying Alive." This method is called CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
👉 Defibrillate: This is the only thing that can return the person to a normal heart rhythm. However, if you are alone, continue chest compressions. If there are others nearby, ask them to fetch the defibrillator. It's easy to use because everything is indicated on it: there are 2 patches to attach to the designated spots, just turn on the machine, attach the patches, and follow the instructions. The machine will analyze the person's heart rhythm and tell you whether or not to deliver an electric shock. If the person still doesn't breathe after this step, continue chest compressions and wait for the paramedics.
Choking: Quickly clear the airways.
Choking occurs when something blocks a person's airways, preventing them from breathing normally. Here's what you should do in case of choking:
👉 Identify choking signs: The person is choking if they can't speak, cough, or breathe properly.
👉 Encourage coughing: If the person can cough, encourage them to do so vigorously to try to dislodge the object blocking their airway.
👉 Perform the Heimlich maneuver: If the person can't cough or if their breathing becomes ineffective, stand behind the person, place your arms around their waist, and quickly squeeze in and upward, toward the diaphragm, to create strong pressure in the abdomen. Repeat this action until the object is expelled, and the person can breathe normally.
👉 Call for help: If the person loses consciousness, immediately call the emergency services and begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as in a cardiac massage.
These are tips that can make a difference. Knowing how to react in case of cardiac arrest or choking can save lives. Let's emphasize the importance of staying calm, calling for help promptly, and acting with confidence. By following the essential steps for cardiac resuscitation and clearing the airways, everyone can play a crucial role in the life of a person in respiratory distress.
At Foodles, we have implemented internal first aid training for employees to raise awareness about this topic and prevent critical situations. In 2022, around twenty employees participated in this initiative to receive certifications. Following the expansion of our facilities, a new defibrillator has been installed at our Saint-Ouen logistics site.
Let's train ourselves in life-saving actions!💪