Cardiac Arrest: What Workplace Managers Need To Know

Last updated:

Table of Content

One of the best ways for employers and corporate managers to meet their legal and moral obligations to their staff and employees is to provide first aid and CPR training. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also known as CPR, is a lifesaving procedure performed on cardiac arrest victims to revive their heart rhythm. Cardiac arrest can affect healthy persons without prior heart problems. It can occur anytime, anywhere, including in the workplace. That’s why corporate safety managers should be aware of cardiac arrest cases’ causes, symptoms, and management.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about cardiac arrest, the importance of CPR, and how you can obtain CPR certification to save a life in times of emergency.

The Rising Cases of Cardiac Arrest

The rates of cardiac arrest are on the rise. Studies conducted in 2020 by the American heart association show that 356,000 people experience cardiac arrest out of the hospital. Out of these, only 10% survive. It, therefore, becomes basic to have a CPR-certified employee around in case such happens. Many factors contribute to cardiac arrest. Unlike in the past, when heart problems were thought to be lifestyle-related, perfectly healthy persons experience cardiac arrest.

There are a limited number of CPR-certified individuals in the United States and worldwide. Even with increased cases of cardiac arrest, there are limited professionals. Only 39.2% of out of hospital cardiac arrest victims received CPR from laypersons. The AED was only used in 7.3% of these cases. According to data collected from CPR training providers, the percentage of CPR-trained persons in the United States stands at only 2.39%.

How Does Cardiac Arrest Occur?

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops functioning. The symptoms of cardiac arrest include loss of consciousness and unresponsiveness. Victims may also experience chest pain or discomfort, feeling of light-headedness or collapsing, palpitations, and shortness of breath. The risk of cardiac arrest increases with age. However, anyone can fall victim. A set of factors are known to cause heart problems. Among them include lifestyle and genetic factors. In addition, certain heart rhythm is known to cause cardiac arrest, and they include:

Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation is a critical heart condition that occurs when the electrical activities of the heart are disorderly. Instead of contracting, the ventricles usually pump blood to the rest of the body quiver. In this case, the heart is not pumping blood leading to some organs lacking enough oxygen supply.

Ventricular Tachycardia

Ventricular tachycardia refers to a heart rate that is above average. For adults, a heart rate of above 100beats per minute is too fast. The heart condition is also known as atrial or supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). It begins with the upper chambers of the heart, which fire abnormally, resulting in a faster heart rate. This increased heart rate prevents the heart chambers from filling up entirely before contracting. The irregular heart rate disrupts the blood flow through the body. People with this condition have a low risk of cardiac arrest except for extreme cases.

cardiac arrest heart attack


Bradycardia is more common in older adults. It occurs from a slow heart rate. The condition is likely to result in a cardiac arrest if the heart rate is not effectively pumping blood to vital body organs, especially the brain and heart muscles. A heart rate depends on the age of the individual and physical activity. A heart rate of below 60 falls under bradycardia for a rested adult.

Any heart condition can potentially result in a cardiac arrest. The most common heart conditions likely to cause cardiac arrest include:

CPR AED and First Aid Certification. Get certified Now with the latest AHA guidelines.

Takes less than 20 minutes. learn more

Cardiac arrest can occur to healthy individuals while carrying out their regular duties. Therefore, institutions and organizations should prepare for health emergencies. Unfortunately, there is limited time for saving the life of a cardiac arrest victim. Every second that passes by without CPR reduces the chances of survival.

How Can Corporate Managers Prepare for Cardiac Arrest Cases at the Workplace?

Corporate managers can prepare for medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest by training their employees on how to perform CPR correctly. So many people are saved through CPR. CPR is performed through chest compressions which act as an artificial heartbeat. The blood in circulation has enough oxygen to keep a person alive for some time. CPR keeps the victim alive by maintaining blood circulation through the human body. CPR focus on circulation, airway, and breathing.

cardiac arrest at work

Workplace CPR training

Workplace CPR and First Aid training programs are offered in various community training centers and organizations worldwide. You have the option to choose between online programs and in-person/ classroom setting. However, attending CPR online courses is the best option for workplace employees because they don’t usually have the time to attend CPR classroom courses. Through online training, you will be able to complete the coursework at your own pace. After successful completion of training classes and passing the certification exams, you will receive a digital certificate instantly. Aside from the digital certificate, you will also get your actual certification card via mail in 2-5 business days.

Also Read- 7 Reasons Why Workplace CPR Training is Essential for Managers

CPR is the only known procedure for saving cardiac arrest victims. The earlier the process is initiated, the higher the chances of survival of the victim. The rescuer needs to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest within the shortest time possible. There is a wide range of reasons why organizations should acquire CPR-trained and skilled employees.

cardiac arrest cpr training

What Entails CPR Training Courses?

CPR is a lifesaving procedure that involves easy-to-follow steps. Anyone can train in CPR regardless of age and educational qualifications. In a CPR class, you get to acquire skills in the following:

1. Importance of CPR in saving cardiac arrest victims

The CPR training covers the whole idea of CPR and how it saves lives. Understanding the concept behind CPR makes it more likely for the rescuer to do it right and as required and provide high-quality CPR. The quality of CPR depends on the depth of the chest compressions and their frequency.

2. How to recognize signs of cardiac arrest in a victim early enough to offer the necessary help?

CPR training provides the knowledge and skills to recognize cardiac arrest victims before they fall completely unconscious and offer immediate CPR to save their lives.

3. How and when to call for help?

A CPR-trained professional has the knowledge to call for help, whether alone or in a team, while maintaining the necessary chest compressions. Calling for assistance is critical because professional rescue teams are more equipped, and they can transport the victim to a health care facility for the necessary care and treatment. A single-rescuer and teams also get fatigued performing CPR, resulting in low-quality CPR.

4. How to perform one-person CPR and as a team?

Working alone in providing CPR is not easy. Uncoordinated and semi-skilled rescue teams can compromise the quality of CPR provided. Therefore, it is crucial to have a team leader and work together in an orderly manner to avoid wasting time on the basic procedures.

5. The difference in CPR for children and adults

High-quality CPR is highly dependent on the depth of the chest compressions. The depth of chest compressions differs for infants, children, and adults. The same applies to the intensity of ventilation. The wrong CPR procedure could be harmful to children and infants and can cause more damage.

Try your knowledge with Practice Test

6. How to perform hands-only CPR?

Workplace CPR certification classes will also teach you how to perform hands-only CPR or compressions-only CPR. When done correctly, hands-only CPR is very effective in keeping cardiac arrest victims alive.

7. How to provide CPR with rescue breaths safely?

Performing rescue breaths to a stranger posses risks, more so during this covid-19 pandemic. When providing first aid, the health of the rescuer comes first. CPR is a highly aerosol-generating procedure. The training offers new and updated guidelines on how to rescue a cardiac arrest victim without risking your own life.

8. When and how to use the AED alongside CPR to save a life?

The Automated External Defibrillator or AED is critical in reviving cardiac arrest victims. The device is easy to use, even for non-professionals. It, however, requires training, which is provided under CPR AED and First Aid certification programs.

9. The use of AED for infants, children, and adults to deliver the desired shock.

The amount of shock differs depending on the age bracket of the victim. The Automated External Defibrillator or AED is designed with adult and pediatric pads that deliver regulated shock levels. Rescuers need to be aware of the types of pads to use and the preventive measures of use.

10. When to stop giving CPR and provide care for the victim once conscious.

CPR should continue until the victim regains consciousness. In other cases, the rescuers are left without a choice but to stop CPR. The decision on whether to stop CPR is not easy. After regaining consciousness, the victim still requires close supervision and check.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many first aid kits should a workplace have?

Every workplace should have at least one first aid kit. However, more than one might be required in a bigger workplace. The first aid kit should be stocked with a sufficient quantity of first aid materials suitable for the particular circumstances of your workplace.

Who should provide the first aid kit in the workplace?

It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure health and safety are maintained in the workplace, and this involves appointing specific individuals as first aiders and investing in their training.

How many employees are needed for a workplace to require a trained first aid person?

With fewer than five employees, having at least one appointed person is required. For over five employees, you’ll need a trained first aider. Then you’ll require an additional trained first aider for every additional 50 employers.