Tag Archives: CPR

What You Need to Know About Agonal Breathing

What are Agonal Respirations or “Last Gasps”?

Gasping, or agonal respiration, is an indicator of cardiac arrest. When these irregular breathing patterns occur, it’s a sign that the victim’s brain is still alive and that you must begin uninterrupted chest compressions or CPR immediately.

If you do so, the person as a much higher chance of surviving. In fact, bystander-initiated CPR has been proven to be a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victim’s best chance of survival. Approximately About 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) die; however, nearly 45 percent of OHCA victims survived when bystander CPR was administered (American Heart Association).

Often, agonal breathing is seen during cardiac arrest, and in most cases rescuers report observing these so-called “dying breaths” fewer than 10 to 12 times per minute (as opposed to 12-20 inhalations in typical respiration).

Agonal respiration does not provide adequate oxygen to maintain body functions and should not be considered breathing.

Gasping or agonal respirations commonly occur following or during sudden cardiac arrest or stroke. Based on paramedic reports, researchers found that gasping occurred in 56% of patients who suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. They also found that gasping or agonal breathing is likely more common soon after cardiac arrest and is most common in individuals who receive bystander CPR (Science Direct).

Symptoms of Agonal Breaths

Agonal breathing can last for minutes or up to several hours. Someone who is suffering from agonal breathing may appear to be gasping for air, snorting, gurgling, or moaning, or they may make grunting sounds or display myoclonus — the sudden, uncontrollable jerking of muscle groups.

“The gasping associated with agonal breathing is not true breathing, but rather a brainstem reflex. Agonal breathing often occurs because the heart is no longer circulating oxygen-rich blood. In other cases, it may be due to the lungs not bringing in enough oxygen” (Medical News Today).

Causes of Agonal Breathing

In most cases, patients that suddenly stop breathing without warning and exhibit agonal breaths are likely suffering from cardiac arrest. However, respiratory arrest brought on by severe asthma, choking, stroke, or an opioid or narcotic overdose may also cause agonal breathing.

How to Treat Agonal Breathing

If someone is exhibiting symptoms of agonal breathing, resuscitation efforts should begin immediately and 911 should be called.

“In cases where the patient is not breathing or has agonal respirations but still has a pulse, he or she is considered to be in respiratory arrest rather than cardiac arrest. The 2015 CPR guidelines call for lay rescuers to treat both conditions the same: by starting CPR” (Very Well Health).

The Value of Gasping During Out-of-Hospital Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

In 2017 a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that gasping during CPR was associated with an increased survival rate. The study noted that “These findings underscore the importance of not terminating resuscitation prematurely in gasping patients and the need to routinely recognize, monitor, and record data on gasping in all future cardiac arrest trials and registries.”

What You Can Do to Help Someone Suffering from Agonal Breathing

Learn CPR. Without CPR, agonal breathing brought on by cardiac arrest is fatal. If you know someone who is at an increased risk for a stroke or cardiac arrest, you’ll need to be able to quickly identify the symptoms and then respond with high-quality CPR.

Ready to learn CPR? As an Authorized Training Center, Cardio Partners provides high quality and consistent CPR and AED training courses across the United States. Our courses are offered through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. For more information about blended or traditional CPR and First Aid training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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The 2018 Cardio Partners Gift Guide & Holiday Sale

Looking for the perfect gift for the life-saver in your family? You’ve come to the right place.

 

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Cardio Partners and AED.com! To celebrate, we’ve come up with a few unique gift ideas for the heart- and safety-conscious souls in your family.

Use the discount code HOLIDAY2018 at checkout to get 10% off your entire AED.com or Cardio Partners purchase.

For the On-the-Go Professional: Curaplex Pocket Mask with O2 Inlet

The Curaplex Pocket Mask with O2 Inlet is the perfect stocking stuffer for teachers, office managers, consultants, fitness instructors, and facilities managers, or just about anyone who is CPR-certified! This affordable, compact mask is suitable for use on adults, children, and infants and features a disposable one-way valve with a 3M Filtrete hydrophobic filter to help prevent the transmission of liquids and other secretions. The oxygen inlet facilitates the delivery of oxygen to breathing and non-breathing individuals. The pre-inflated cuff makes for quick and easy application and the compact carrying case keeps your mask in perfect working condition.

For the Always Prepared: Curaplex Stop the Bleed Kits

Earlier this year, our good friends at the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department led a hands-on Stop the Bleed training at our offices just outside of Nashville. Since then, we’ve been huge proponents of these supplemental training programs, and we are pleased to offer Curaplex Stop the Bleed kits start at just $59.99. These compact kits are designed to provide a rescuer (whether a  civilian bystander or a first responder) with immediate access to life-saving products that can control bleeding and traumatic hemorrhaging.


These vacuum-packed and tamper-proof kits include:

  • 2 rolls of primed, compressed gauze dressing
  • 1 C-A-T® tourniquet
  • 1 emergency bandage
  • 1 permanent marker
  • 2 pairs of gloves, latex-free, large
  • Pair of trauma shears, 7.5”
  • Detailed and easy-to-follow directions

Advanced kits also include 1 Pack of HALO seals and QuikClot combat gauze.

For the Life-Long Learner: CPR and First Aid Training

If you’ve always wondered what you’d learn in a CPR class, CPR and First Aid training may be the perfect gift to give to yourself! It’s also the ideal gift for all the babysitters, new parents, high school students, and teachers on your list. Need some more convincing? Read our post, 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR — and then sign up for a class near you!

For the Newly First Aid Certified: A Brand-New First Aid Kit

We carry a wide range of first aid kits. Our entry-level Curaplex First Aid Kit comes in a compact metal case. The case is portable or can be mounted for easy access. The kit includes one of each of the following:

  • Bandage, latex-free, 2”
  • Triangular bandage, with two pins, 36” x 51”
  • Box of adhesive bandages
  • Box of knuckle bandages
  • Gauze bandage, large, 24” x 72”
  • Roll of tape, waterproof, ½”
  • Roll of stretch gauze, 2” x 4 yd
  • Bottle of burn spray, 3 oz
  • Pair of scissors, 4-1/2”
  • Bottle of eye wash, 4 oz
  • Box of antiseptic wipes
  • Box of ammonia inhalants
  • Cold pack
  • Metal case

For the New Recruit: The Curaplex Officer Down Kit

The Curaplex Officer Down Individual First Aid Kits (IFAK) are designed for law enforcement officers, first responders, or members of the military. These highly portable individual trauma kits contain the essential supplies needed to treat life-threatening traumatic injuries — such as gunshot wounds or stab wounds — that occur in the field or in a combat environment.

For the Cardiac Arrest Survivor: An AED for the Home

If you’re looking a unique gift for your loved one, an automated external defibrillator is just the ticket. There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing an AED, so we recommend reading our post, Which AED is Right for You, or downloading our AED Starter’s Guide before making a decision. As of publication, our recertified Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 Plus was listed at $599, and we invite you to call us for pricing on our recertified HeartSine Samaritan PAD 300P (supplies are limited).

For our full line up of AEDs, CPR and AED Training, AED Accessories & Storage, and AED Services, call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Don’t forget to enter the discount code HOLIDAY2018 and save 10% off your entire order! Offer expires on December 31, 2018.

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6 Shocking Statistics About Sudden Cardiac Arrest and AEDs

SCA and AEDs By the Numbers (And What We Can Do About It)

To kick off the National Sudden Cardiac Awareness month and to usher in October, we’re sharing a few spook-worthy statistics about SCA.

Shocking Stat #1: Each year, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur in the United States.

Taken a step further, about 90% of the people who experience an OHCA will die. While these numbers are nothing short of staggering, The American Heart Association also notes that “CPR, especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.”

What is CPR and how does it work? Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an easy-to-learn lifesaving procedure undertaken by first responders or bystanders in an effort to maintain the flow of oxygen to and from the brain and other vital organs. Often, artificial respiration (mouth-to-mouth or bag-valve mask ventilation) accompany manual chest compressions; however, compression-only CPR is an increasingly accepted method as well.

Let’s make a dent in the statistics! Cardio Partners offers nationwide CPR training; contact us to learn more.

Shocking Stat #2: Among middle-aged adults treated for SCA, 50% had no symptoms before the onset of arrest.

Much like SCA survivor Rob Seymour (who we profiled back in March), 50% of people who experience cardiac arrest demonstrate no warning signs.

However, when we flip that stat on its head, a whopping 50% of the people who experience SCA do exhibit warning signs in the hours, days, and weeks prior to the event, and only 19% of the symptomatic patients called emergency medical services to report their symptoms (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Be heart-aware and be on the lookout for symptoms such as:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest.
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain.
  • Discomfort or pain in the arm or shoulder.
  • Shortness of breath.

Want to dig a little deeper? Read our post, “What’s the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Shocking Stat #3: 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest every year and 17.5 million people across the globe die from cardiovascular disease each year.

These figures, courtesy of the American Heart Association and the World Heart Federation, demonstrate just how important it is to take care of your heart! Put yet another way, in the United States, SCA claims more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined.

Just last week, in celebration of World Heart Day, we shared a few of our favorite heart-healthy tips!

Shocking Stat #4: 10,000 SCAs occur in the workplace each year.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration strongly encourages the placement of AEDs in the workplace, yet no federal regulations exist.

Take a look at this example, cited on OSHA’s website: “While standing on a fire escape during a building renovation, a 30-year-old construction worker was holding a metal pipe with both hands. The pipe contacted a high voltage line, and the worker instantly collapsed. About 4 minutes later, a rescue squad arrived and began CPR. Within six minutes the squad had defibrillated the worker. His heartbeat returned to normal and he was transported to a hospital. The worker regained consciousness and was discharged from the hospital within two weeks.”

What can you do to improve SCA survival rates among your employees? Implement an AED program in your workplace today! Affordable, recertified AEDs start at just $550 and implementing an emergency response plan is priceless. Ready to take the plunge? We’ll help you figure out which AED is right for you.

Shocking Stat #5: 68.5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home.

It should go without saying, but we’re going to go ahead and say it: saving a life is, without a doubt, the best reason for learning CPR. Because four out of five cardiac arrests occur at home, performing CPR promptly and investing in an AED for your home may save the life of someone you love.

And, in case you’re curious, 21% OHCAs occurred in public settings and 10.5% occurred in nursing homes.

Shocking Stat #6: 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survive when bystander CPR is administered.

See, it’s not all bad news! Not only that, but the American Heart Association recently published an article revealing that more people are stepping up to offer CPR when someone’s heart stops.

However, despite that fact that first responders are “intervening at higher levels,” survival rates remain higher for men than for women.

One of the researchers associated with the study, Dr. Carolina Malta Hansen, a researcher at Duke Clinical Research Institute, said that a number of factors might have contributed to the outcomes. “Compared to male victims of cardiac arrests, women are more likely to have cardiomyopathy, or disease of the heart muscle, and non-shockable rhythms that can’t be treated with defibrillation. Women who suffer cardiac arrests also tend to be older than men and live at home alone, with less chance of CPR being performed.”

In the article, Hansen goes on to note that there’s a great need to strengthen all the links in the chain of survival and that “the most important thing for the general public to know is that bystander intervention is paramount. You shouldn’t be afraid of doing something wrong, because anything is better than nothing: Stepping in and starting CPR and applying an AED before EMS arrives is the foundation for survival.”

For more information about purchasing a new or recertified AED for your home or workplace, or to schedule AED training or maintenance, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

 

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