Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Circulatory Standstill

Circulation has stopped when the person does not respond to external stimuli and when neither breathing nor circulation can be detected.

When circulation fails the heart is no longer capable of supplying the vital organs with blood (oxygen).

Conditions that cause unconsciousness and respiratory failure may also lead to circulatory arrest.

Further causes are:

  • Electrical accident
  • Cardiac rhythm disturbances
  • Severe blood loss
  • Hypothermia
  • Allergic shock


Check Consciousness

Check Breathing

Check Circulation


Circulatory arrest will be fatal, unless artificial respiration and external chest compression is applied within a few minutes.

First Aid

  • If the casualty is not breathing begin artificial respiration.
  • In case of circulatory standstill start external chest compression!

What to do:

  • Place the emergency patient on a hard, unyielding surface.
  • Kneel beside the emergency patient and place the heel of one hand on the lower half of his breastbone (pressure point), keeping your fingers off the rib cage. Cover your hand with the heel of the other hand.
  • Keep your arms straight while you exert vertical pressure on the beast bone. Press down 3 to 4 cm. Perform the compressions rhythmically, not jerkily, i.e. press and release the chest evenly.
  • Do not lift your hands off the chest while you are messaging.
  • Perform heat massage in an even rhythm at a rate of 80 to 100 compressions a minute.

When applying the one-helper method give 2 breaths of mouth to mouth followed by 15 compressions, continue with 2 breath, 15 compressions.

Check circulation every minute.

Emergency call.

  • If there is no carotid pulse, continue respiration and external chest compression until the ambulance arrives.
  • When you feel the carotid pulse, stop compressing but continue mouth-to-mouth (no more compressions) and check circulation in regular intervals.

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