Over 350,000 cardiac arrests occur annually in the “out of hospital” setting. Without prompt and effective action, death can result quickly due to impaired circulation. Highest chances of survival in instances of cardiac arrest depend on rapid recognition, effective and proper intervention, notification of EMS/emergency services, and early access to an AED. 

This “chain of survival” is an important system to have in place in your work or school environment to ensure the safety of individuals.

Cardiac arrest can strike without warning or preexisting condition. Here are the signs:

  • Sudden loss of responsiveness:
    • The person doesn’t respond, even if you tap him or her hard on the shoulders, or ask loudly if he or she is OK.
    • The person doesn’t move, speak, blink, or otherwise react.
  • Absence of normal breathing:
    • The person isn’t breathing or is gasping for air. No observable chest rise.

Steps to take in the event of cardiac arrest

  2. Call or have someone call 911 and notify the dispatcher of an emergency.
    1. If near a UMBC phone, call 5-5555 or (410) 455-5555 from a cell phone for UMBC police dispatch. Be prepared to tell them where you are and what is happening.
  3. Begin CPR on the individual. Remember to push hard and fast allowing the chest to recoil/ expand between compressions.
  4. Direct someone to retrieve the AED from the nearest location
  5. Once AED is on the scene  – open for instructions of use. Follow these instructions. (verbal and written)
  6. Continue rendering care until emergency personnel arrives or the patient has changed in status/becomes responsive (wakes up/begins to move/breathe/etc).

Any questions or comments? Feel free to contact the Office of Environmental Safety and Health during normal business hours; M-F 7:30 am – 4:30 pm