Glossary >

Emergency response: Cardiac arrest, CPR, AED, EMS, airway, breathing, circulation

Emergency response: Cardiac arrest, CPR, AED, EMS, airway, breathing, circulation

Emergency response is a critical component of providing life-saving care in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, and it can be caused by various factors, including heart attack, electrocution, drowning, or trauma. When someone experiences cardiac arrest, their breathing and circulation stop, and they become unresponsive.

CPR is an emergency procedure used to restore blood flow to the brain and other vital organs to prevent death or permanent disability from cardiac arrest. It involves chest compressions and rescue breaths that are performed in cycles until medical help arrives or until the person regains consciousness.

An AED is a device that can be used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm during cardiac arrest. It is designed for use by laypersons who have been trained in its use, and it can be found in many public places such as airports, schools, shopping malls, etc.

EMS (emergency medical services) refers to the system of personnel and equipment that respond to medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests. EMS personnel are typically paramedics or EMTs (emergency medical technicians) who are trained to provide advanced life support care, such as administering medications or performing advanced airway management techniques.

Airway management ensures an open airway for oxygenation during CPR or other emergency situations. This includes positioning the head correctly so that the tongue does not block the airway; using suctioning devices if necessary; inserting an oral or nasal airway, and using bag-valve-mask ventilation if needed.

Breathing providesoxygenation through artificial means such as bag-valve-mask ventilation, intubation during CPR,or other emergency situations where spontaneous breathing has stopped due to cardiac arrest.

Circulation refers to restoring blood flow through chest compressions during CPR todeliver oxygenated blood throughout the body and prevent death from cardiac arrest.

CPR AED and First Aid Certification. Get certified Now with the latest AHA guidelines.
Takes less than 20 minutes. learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

When responding in an emergency, what should I do if the scene is not safe?

If the location is not secure, try to move the patient, if possible, to a safer location before performing CPR. If there is no way to move the patient, activate the emergency response team by calling 911 immediately.

How do I know if the victim is already dead when assessing an adult victim?

If the adult victim is unconscious, has no breathing, and has no pulse, the victim is considered dead that's why CPR steps must be performed in this emergency, hoping to resuscitate the victim's life.

How do I check the consciousness of an adult victim in an emergency?

To check if an adult victim is conscious, you can tap on their shoulder and ask, "Are you okay?" loudly. If they are unresponsive, call 911 immediately and assess the victim to see if he needs CPR.

If the adult victim doesn't breathe after 2 minutes of CPR, do I keep performing CPR until the EMS arrives?

Yes. Continue doing the CPR steps until an AED is available or until the emergency, medical services team arrives to provide advanced life support.

When is the right time to call emergency services when the child is choking?

If the child is choking and unresponsive, it's essential to send someone to call 911 right away. If you are alone, contact 911 first before you start performing CPR. According to the AHA Chain of Survival, activating the Emergency Medical Services is essential because even though the obstruction has been dislodged and the child regains consciousness, advanced life support is still needed to ensure no fractures or other complications.


  • American Heart Association (2020). Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Retrieved from American Heart Association (2020).
  • Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). Retrieved from