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Emergency Treatment Used to Restart a Heart in Cardiorespiratory Arrest

Emergency Treatment Used to Restart a Heart in Cardiorespiratory Arrest

Do you suspect that someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest? Are you anxiously waiting for news on someone who needs CPR or AED shock treatments? Do you know what to do in this situation? What are the signs to look for? Do they need to go to the hospital?

Research and the news shows that heart problems are the number one cause of death in the United States; therefore, there are various resuscitation or first aid techniques that you can attempt when someone’s heart stops and you need to restore a natural heart rhythm. Keep reading if you want to know what the appropriate emergency treatment is for patients who experience cardiac arrest. 

What Are the Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest. You can identify this by:

  • Abnormal breathing patterns – If you notice that a person is not breathing or they are gasping for air, this could be a sign of cardiac arrest, as it indicates an abnormal heart rhythm 
  • A sudden loss of responsiveness – Is the person responding to you? A lack of responsiveness could be defined by the person not moving, speaking, blinking, or reacting at all. 
  • The person collapses or falls over.

There are occasions when there are no warning signs, and times cardiac arrhythmia or a heart attack occurs before cardiac arrest. 

What Do You Do When a Person Experiences Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

You have identified that a person’s heart has stopped and that they need CPR or an AED, so what do you do next? Follow these seven steps to increase their chances of survival:

  1. Make sure that the scene is safe – Whether these are public places or someone’s home, you need to ensure that there are no objects around to put the person at further risk, as the probability of survival decreases to quite an extent. 
  2. Check for any responsiveness.
  3. Call for help – Even if you have a CPR and AED certification, it is vital that you call 911 or another emergency medical response number. In the meantime, ask any bystanders to bring you an automated external defibrillator, AED, if there is one available. This is a matter of urgency; therefore, everyone needs to react promptly. If you are with someone and identify any cardiac arrest signs, call 911 immediately and use an AED to deliver a shock. The user of the AED needs to remain calm so that they can act appropriately. 
  4. Try to identify whether the person is breathing or gasping – Start with CPR or chest compressions if the person is not breathing or gasping for air. 
  5. Begin performing high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR – Performing chest compressions can be helpful during CPR. Try to push down at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes per minute in the center of the person’s chest. Make sure that you allow the person’s chest to return to its’ normal position after each push.
  6. Use an AED device – turn the automated external defibrillator (AED) on and use it accordingly to deliver an electrical shock to the person to restore their normal heart rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac death. 
  7. Continue with the CPR – Keep performing CPR until the person starts moving or breathing again. If this does not occur, continue to administer CPR and the AED until the emergency medical team arrives and can offer the patient emergency care for sudden cardiac arrest.

First Aid for Cardiac Arrest

First aid for cardiac arrest can help you to save a life. What are the survival rates with first aid sudden cardiac arrest? Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated external defibrillator (AED) raise the survival rate of someone who experiences heart diseases, such as ventricular fibrillation. 

First Aid for Cardiac Arrest

Before you start with the first aid process, make sure that you called 911 or any other emergency medical care provider for assistance and that you have an AED available. If you do not act immediately, the chances of survival decreases. 

The first aid process for cardiac arrest consists of:

  • CPR or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (If you are certified) – Do not perform CPR if you do not have the required training, as this decreases the survival rate. The purpose of this treatment is to keep the oxygen circulating in the person’s blood so that the blood continues to supply the brain with oxygen. Therefore, if you cannot perform mouth-to-mouth, stick to chest compressions. 
  • Resuscitation with an AED – If you use an AED, you increase the survival rates; however, the user needs to perform this as quickly as possible. 
  • Chest compressions – The method you use to deliver chest compressions varies depending on whether you do it to a child or adult. 

If you do not have your first aid certification, you may want to consider finding an organization, such as the American Heart Association, to assist you with the training course so that you can help save a life when emergency care is needed. Having your first aid certification or certificate automatically increases the survival rates in patients with heart conditions. 

How Do You Revive a Cardiac Arrest Patient?

Many victims of sudden cardiac arrest may be revived if they are treated quickly enough with CPR and AEDs. To begin, dial 911 for emergency treatment. Then, if one is available, get an automatic external defibrillator, AED, and use it to deliver an electric shock as soon as it arrives to restore the natural rhythm of the heart. Start CPR right away and keep it going before competent emergency medical help arrives. If there are two people available to assist, one can start CPR right away while the other dials 911 and locate an AED.

You can increase a victim’s survival rate by performing Hands-Only CPR. The longer you wait to revive the patient, the chances of survival decrease; therefore, the number one tip is to do this as quickly as possible. A sudden cardiac arrest patient is revived once you can restore a steady and normal heart rhythm to them. 

What Is Used to Restart the Heart?

We have established that it is possible to restart the human heart once a person has gone into sudden cardiac arrest. What do we use to achieve this?

People use defibrillators to fix an abnormal rhythm of the heart. There are various types of defibrillators to use, such as AEDs, pacemakers, or implantation defibrillation devices. You need to find the defibrillation device or AED that you believe is most suitable for those with a medical health condition; however, the most common defibrillation device is an AED. You may find that these defibrillation devices or AEDs are made available to community members in public places so that there is a treatment solution available when someone faces the risk of sudden cardiac death. 

Can a Defibrillator Restart the Heart?

An automated external defibrillator (AED) device can restart a person’s heart once the heart stops; however, you need to ensure that you follow the correct procedure. First things first, do you know what a defibrillation device is and what its’ purpose is?

What Is an AED?

An AED is an acronym for the term automated external defibrillator. This defibrillation device is used for medical treatment when an individual’s heart has stopped, they have an abnormal heart rhythm, or they are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

what is an aed

These emergency defibrillation devices are extremely safe for the user and are not harmful in any way. The defibrillation devices analyze the person’s heart rhythm to determine if the cardiac arrest victim actually needs an electrical shock to restart a heart or restore a normal rhythm. As long as you follow the AED instructions, you deliver the shock to both adults and children. 

The AED Resuscitation Process

After you have called the emergency health care services, the automated external defibrillator, AED, procedure is as follows:

  1. Read and follow all the instructions for the AED device. Remove all the clothing from the victim’s chest. 
  2. Stick the electrodes from the defibrillation device or AED onto the individual’s chest. Place one on the right side of the chest below the collarbone and the other one below the armpit on the left side of the body. 
  3. The defibrillator is going to guide you with what to do next. It gives you clear instructions on how to deliver the electric shock. 

What Drugs Are Used to Restart the Heart?

The main drugs used in medical treatment for patients in the community who have suffered from sudden cardiac arrest include:

  1. Adrenaline
  2. Amiodarone
  3. Lidocaine
  4. Atropine
  5. Other additional drugs


Adrenaline is the first drug administered in all cases of cardiac arrest, and it should be widely available in all clinical settings. Adrenaline causes peripheral vasoconstriction, which concentrates blood around vital organs like the brain and heart. These are the organs that must continue to obtain blood after a cardiac arrest to maximize survival rates. Adrenaline activates the heart muscle, which strengthens cardiac contractions. This increases the amount of blood flowing to the vital organs, as well as the likelihood of the heart returning to a regular rhythm.

What Drugs Are Used to Restart the Heart

During a cardiac arrest, one may administer the medication continuously until the patient’s condition improves. Once the doctor detects a cardiac arrest, we advise that the drug be administered as quickly as possible. You can do this every three minutes or so.

A central line is recommended for administration since it can enter the cardiac tissue more quickly. If this is not possible, the medication may be given via a cannula inserted into a peripheral vein. If this is the case, flush the cannula with at least 20mL 0.9 percent sodium chloride. This process ensures that the medication enters the blood circulation system. 

The use of Adrenaline must be reassessed after an organized rhythm has been developed, as excessive doses can cause ventricular fibrillation. It’s also worth noting that this drug produces solid content as it reacts with sodium bicarbonate. As a result, these two medications should not be administered via the same IV path without sufficient sodium chloride flushing.


People use this medicine to treat cardiac arrhythmias, such as ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, during cardiac arrest. However, electrical defibrillation is recommended as the first aid for ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, according to the American Heart Association. If this fails after three tries, you can administer Amiodarone.

Amiodarone has a number of effects on the heart; the most critical is to slow down cardiac tissue metabolism. The drug also inhibits the action of hormones that cause the heart to beat faster or maintain a normal rhythm. The heart is slowed as a result of the cumulative impact. This is critical in the event of a cardiac arrest when the heart is pounding too quickly to maintain normal circulation or has an abnormal rhythm.

Recommendation state that at least 15 minutes should pass between Amiodarone doses. You can continue this with a 24-hour infusion. Amiodarone is incompatible with sodium chloride and must be dissolved in 5% dextrose at all times.

It can be given through a cannula inserted into a peripheral vein, but localized pain and discomfort are common side effects, particularly when the medication is given as a continuous infusion. In an emergency, this is less necessary, but if the patient needs a long-term infusion, you should consider central venous access.

Extreme bradycardia is the side effect of this drug that is crucial to cardiac arrest. As a result, someone receiving an IV Amiodarone infusion should be monitored in a critical care setting like coronary care or intensive care unit. Atropine, which can counteract this decreased heart rate, should be available when amiodarone is administered through a vein.


This medicine, like Amiodarone, is used to treat some cardiac arrhythmias, primarily ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. It slows down a very rapid and abnormal heart rhythm by reducing the electrical activity of cardiac tissue.

You should only use Lidocaine if Amiodarone is unavailable. It should not be used in conjunction with Amiodarone or if Amiodarone has already been used.

IV Lidocaine should be administered as a bolus dose over two to four minutes. The manufacturer recommends a five-minute interval between doses, and a maximum dosage of one hour is also recommended.

Since bolus intravenous infusions have a short half-life (15 to 20 minutes), if the patient’s condition requires it, a repeat bolus should be given within this time frame, followed by a continuous infusion. It is not usually advised to keep the infusion going for more than 24 hours. This medication, like Amiodarone, has bradycardia and hypotension as side effects, and we recommend continuous cardiac monitoring. 


This medication works by blocking the heart’s response to the vagus nerve. This nerve usually slows the heart rate and is a frequent cause of asystole during cardiac arrest. Atropine also affects the heart’s conduction mechanism, speeding up the transmission of electrical signals through cardiac tissue.

People use it to treat asystole and extreme bradycardia in cardiac arrest. Atropine is recommended by the American Heart Association for pulseless electrical activity with a rate of less than 60 beats per minute or full asystole.

The dosage of this drug should be given through the vein and is dependent on the heart rhythm. A 0.5mg dose should be given for bradycardia and repeated every five minutes until you reach an appropriate heart rhythm or rate. A single 3mg dose should be given in asystole, and it should not be repeated unless the cardiac rhythm shifts to bradycardia or pulseless electrical activity.

If IV access is not possible, Atropine can be administered via an endotracheal tube at a dosage; it is two to three times higher than that given through a vein.

Other Additional Drugs

The above-mentioned drugs are given either as soon as a cardiac arrest is identified (Adrenaline) or after a cardiac monitor has been used to measure the electrical activity of the heart (Amiodarone or Atropine). After the above medications have been tried and the patient’s condition has not improved, the following drugs are administered. Their administration necessitates knowledge of the patient’s previous medical history or the circumstances surrounding the detention. These additional drugs include:

  • Calcium chloride
  • Magnesium sulfate 
  • Miscellaneous drugs

Calcium Chloride 

Calcium is required for the contraction of muscular tissue throughout the body, but it is particularly necessary for cardiac tissue contraction power. It can stabilize cardiac tissue contraction after metabolic changes have induced instability and arrhythmias if provided during cardiac arrest.

When Adrenaline fails, health providers suggest calcium to help weak or inefficient myocardial contractions. This is particularly true after open-heart surgery.

Calcium may also be used to protect against a range of metabolic disorders that cause pulseless electrical activity, such as high blood potassium, low blood calcium, and magnesium or calcium channel blocking drug overdose.

Because of the high risk of tissue necrosis, calcium chloride must be delivered through the vein rather than injected directly into the tissue. To minimize the risk of injury to the underlying tissue, one should administer it via a small-bore cannula inserted into a broad vein. Calcium chloride should not be given through the same venous access point as sodium bicarbonate due to chemical interaction.

Calcium has two significant side effects that are critical in an emergency cardiac arrest scenario. The first is that frequent injections raise blood acidity, so they should be avoided in patients with low blood pH. Since this occurs in a significant number of patients after a cardiac arrest, it is recommended that arterial blood pH be monitored frequently. Second, intravenous calcium chloride administration can result in hypotension due to peripheral vasodilation, as well as bradycardia and cardiac arrhythmias.

Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium is an essential electrolyte involved in muscle contraction, including cardiac muscle contraction. Reduced levels of this factor in the blood can cause cardiac arrhythmias, leading to cardiac arrest.

Long-term use of potassium-losing diuretics, alcohol abuse, or diarrhea are all common causes of excessive magnesium loss from the body. Magnesium can also aid in the stabilization of arrhythmias caused by low potassium levels and digoxin toxicity.

If there is a possibility that a low magnesium level led to cardiac arrest, health clubs suggest giving magnesium through the vein. When administering magnesium intravenously, blood pressure, urine production, and respiratory rate must all be closely monitored.

Miscellaneous Drugs

The remaining drugs recommended by health clubs should be readily available during resuscitation, but they are not be needed right away. Doctors use these to treat particular medical conditions that may have contributed to the cardiac arrest, such as an acute asthmatic attack. They are also used to treat problems, including fluid overload caused by heart failure, often associated with cardiac arrest. These drugs need to be administered with extreme care as you do not want them to have adverse effects on one’s health. 

What Do Paramedics Do for Cardiac Arrest?

The paramedics have arrived on the scene; what happens now regarding the person’s heart rhythm? When faced with this situation, a paramedic is first going to assess the situation to determine what treatment is called for to restore a normal heart rhythm; they need to confirm that the person is in sudden cardiac arrest. Once they identify this, they begin with the necessary medical resuscitation process. The health professional transfers the patient to the most appropriate health facility, usually the closest hospital that can provide the defibrillation treatment to restore a normal heart rhythm. 

Parademics are trained to respond promptly to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. They have great control in these health situations, which is why you should trust them to do their job once they arrive at the scene. While transporting the victim to the hospital, the paramedics also use defibrillation devices or AEDs to restore a normal heart rhythm to the patient. 

The Bottom Line

Various emergency medical treatments are available to help people who have experienced sudden cardiac arrest. CPR, AEDs that deliver an electric shock, and other medical drugs are used to increase the survival rates of people who are at risk of sudden cardiac death. According to the American Heart Association and additional research, AEDs are the most efficient way of ensuring survival as they deliver the shock, an electrical shock, to the patient to try to restore a normal rhythm after sudden cardiac arrest or another heart disease. 

There is nothing worse than receiving news about a member of the community experiencing heart disease. Luckily, any person can get the necessary training to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. Do you want to be someone to increase the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest cases? You can get your CPR or AED certification or training to help use emergency treatment devices in times of need. Let us make a difference in the community by equipping ourselves with the necessary CPR and AED skills. 

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