Cardiac Arrest Gym
Cardiovascular issues are on the rise due to unhealthy lifestyles and a lack of regular health checks. Smoking (active and passive), consumption of alcohol, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and family history can contribute to heart-related health issues.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical signals in the heart change, causing it to stop pumping blood. This is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate attention.
Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or SCA, happens when the heart stops beating regularly and no oxygen is delivered to the brain. If not treated immediately, it leads to death within minutes.
AEDs are life-saving devices that shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. They’re a common sight in gyms, airports and other public places. They’re easy to use and talk users through the process step-by-step. The device uses adhesive pads that attach to the victim’s torso and analyzes their heart rhythm to determine whether or not a shock is needed.
A study by the National Institutes of Health found that people who experience sudden cardiac arrest and receive CPR from a bystander aided by an AED are twice as likely to survive. The AED should be in an easily accessible area and staff should know how to operate it. This will allow them to provide treatment before emergency medical services arrive. Ideally, it should be placed in an area that’s clearly marked with signage.
First Aid Kits
Having the right first aid supplies on hand can help someone in cardiac arrest while you wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive. NSC offers a variety of CPR and AED training classes and supplies. This includes a new wheeled kit that allows you to teach students in one class period and easily move the kit from classroom to classroom. The kit also contains a reusable EpiPen trainer.
While the items in a first aid kit vary depending on location and the people it will serve, you will want to include elastic bandages in various sizes, sterile wipes, a blanket, scissors, disposable cold packs, antiseptic ointment, medical shears and aspirin or acetaminophen. You should also add a pair of gloves, tweezers and a mask for performing CPR. A good kit will also have a heavy-duty elastic tourniquet and blood-clotting granules. It will also have a large instructional sheet with pictures and simple steps to follow in an emergency.
Signs of Cardiac Arrest
During cardiac arrest, electrical impulses go haywire, triggering an irregular heartbeat called arrhythmia. A type called ventricular fibrillation triggers most cases of sudden cardiac arrest. It robs the heart of its ability to pump blood and oxygen to the rest of the body, which is life-threatening within minutes.
A hard blow to the chest—as a baseball player might experience, for example—can disrupt the heart’s rhythm and cause it to quiver or flutter. This condition, called commotio cordis, is more common in boys and young men and leads to two to three deaths per year in youth baseball. It can also be caused by drowning, choking or respiratory distress, and it might occur as a result of a seizure.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and shocks delivered by an automated external defibrillator are the only treatment for SCA, which is fatal without immediate medical attention. But you can lower your risk of sudden cardiac arrest by following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and avoiding smoking.
How to Save a Life
While routine physical exercise is beneficial for the heart, sudden cardiac arrest can be devastating. In fact, every two to three days in the United States, a young athlete dies from sudden cardiac arrest while exercising or immediately afterward.
It’s important for gym owners and their staff to have a comprehensive cardiac emergency response plan. That includes training employees and ensuring that the facility has automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and first aid kits.
Moreover, gym-goers should talk to their doctors before engaging in strenuous workouts to make sure that they are in good health. They should be able to clearly state their workout and dietary habits, as well as any underlying conditions that may put them at risk. Also, they should not cross over 80 per cent of their maximum heart rate while working out.