Cardiac arrest is a serious cardiac event that occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. If you suffer a cardiac arrest, you will stop breathing and lose consciousness almost immediately. Unless action is taken within minutes, cardiac arrest will be fatal.
If you witness a cardiac arrest, you can increase the person’s chances of survival by calling 111 immediately, doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Symptoms for cardiac arrest
For many people, a cardiac arrest comes without any warning signs. However, some people do experience some warning signs before a cardiac arrest. These can include:
- Chest pain
Someone who has already had a cardiac arrest will be:
- Not breathing.
Did you know
An AED can increase someone’s chance of survival by up to 80% if applied immediately.
Every year in New Zealand over 2,000 people are treated for a cardiac arrest that occurs in the community. With only one in ten New Zealanders surviving to 30-days, death from cardiac arrest is our ‘silent toll’. It can happen to anyone of any age, including children.