What can a cardiac arrest witness expect to happen once help arrives?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,030
    Dr. Robert O’Connor, professor & chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Virginia Health System, discusses what a cardiac arrest bystander can expect once help arrives.

    Host: What can a cardiac arrest witness or bystander expect to happen once help arrives?

    Robert O'Connor: Well you have a rescue team take over CPR. If the defibrillator hasn't been used yet, the rescue team will have want to perform defibrillation. They will also start IV access get to establish an airway. Essentially the more advance level of care will then take over. But once help arrives, the bystander has done their job by maintaining the CPR for the minutes that takes for help to arrive and while helps only few minutes it can't seem like a lot longer to a bystander. So I would just recommend that they perform CPR until help gets there. Once rescue squads arrived they will take over care and at some point they will need to get information about whether it's a witness arrest or just what the circumstances were. Whether there is any medications that the patient takes, any medical history in case of family member or friend. Someone who knows the patient is nearby. So that be prepared to answer their questions but let them take over care initially and let them do their job and once they need more information, I think they will be free to ask it.

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