Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Woman kneeling over a man doing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

According to the Heart Foundation, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in adults. However, the immediate performance of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on the victim can double the victim’s chances of survival.

In most cardiac arrest cases, the heart goes from a normal rhythm into a quivering rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. This can be fatal unless an electric shock, also known as defibrillation, is applied. Where this is not possible, or in the interim, CPR can provide a trickle of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart, keeping those organs alive until help arrives.

The Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation (ANZCOR) make the following recommendations:

  1. Rescuers must start CPR immediately if the person is unresponsive and not breathing normally;
  2. Bystander CPR should be actively encouraged;
  3. Compression-to-ventilation ratio be 30:2 for all ages;
  4. All rescuers perform chest compressions for all who are not breathing normally;
  5. Rescuers who are trained and willing to give rescue breaths are encouraged to do so;
  6. Chest compressions should be provided at a rate of approximately 100 – 120 /min;
  7. Rescuers should aim to minimise interruptions to chest compressions.

We recommend that workplaces have a cohort of trained staff who can perform CPR. The critical thing is to be ready BEFORE it happens! You can view information about how to perform CPR, including a short video, on the St John website.  

Three training providers we’d recommend are St Johns, the Red Cross, and Wellington Free Ambulance. Contact details for these and other first aid trainers is available here.

We also suggest you identify the location of your nearest available defibrillator (or ‘AED’) for your workplace, which you can do on the AED Locations website – so, if you travel for work, you can easily locate your nearest AED simply by having this website saved to your phone or, by downloading the app (available on iTunes and GooglePlay).

In a cardiac emergency, if one person calls 111 while another does CPR and a third races off the fetch the defibrillator, there’s a very good chance you could save a life! You could also purchase an AED to have on-site in your workplace – the cost of a life far outweighs the cost of an AED, so it’s a worthwhile consideration. You can purchase AED’s for around $2,500 NZD through St John, Red Cross, and many other organisations, such as HeartSaver. Some of these organisations offer AED rentals as an alternative to purchasing, or bulk discounts if you want to purchase an AED for multiple sites.

If you need help or advice in how to up-skill your team, or what your best next steps may be towards being the crucial element in saving someone’s life, contact the team at Working Wise today. Our team offer advice on emergency situations, as well as wellness programme advice, so are well-trained to answer any queries you may have. Contact us on 04 499 0710, or by completing our online contact form.

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