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Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is often misunderstood as a heart attack. A heart attack is a plumbing problem where the heart is blocked, causing heart muscle to die

Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs when the heart's electrical system malfunctions; The heart muscle quivers or fibrillates rather than pump blood. Vital organs are immediately deprived of oxygen, causing the victim to collapse. Brain death and irreversible damage begin in four to six minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest. (Further information)

Basic Life Support

D - Dangers?

Check for danger, approach with care and do not put yourself in danger.

R - Responsive?

Look for a response. Is the victim conscious? Gently touch and talk to them, as if you are trying to wake them up. If there is no response, get help.

S - Send for help

Dial triple zero (000) or 112 (if your mobile is out of phone range or credit). – ask for an ambulance.

ABC - full information

  • A - Open Airway
  • B - Breathing
  • C - Start CPR
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a combination of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions that delivers oxygen and artificial circulation to a person whose heart has stopped.


    1. Turn on the AED and follow the voice & visual prompts.
    2. Attach electrode pads to patient’s bare chest (male or female) as indicated.
    3. Stop CPR and do not touch patient while AED analysing.
    4. Deliver a shock by pressing flashing red light if indicated.
    5. Continue 2 mins cycles CPR between shocks if victim is still not breathing until help arrives.

    (Further information)


    North East Valley Division General Practice, Victoria, Australia, Disclaimer 
    Level 1, Pathology Building, Repatriation Campus, A&RMC, Heidelberg West VIC 3081. .. map
    Phone: 03 9496 4333, Fax: 03 9496 4349,  Email: nevdgp@nevdgp.org.au
    Please note: NEVDGP does not provide an on-line consultation

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