Sudden Cardiac Arrest In The Workplace

Improving Workplace Safety Through CPR & AED Training


Did you know that according to OSHA “…about 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur at work.”  


Recently, I was at a client’s construction job site  and as we were beginning a site inspection, the supervisor told me of a recent death on the site.  They were saying the worker was found on the roof, and had suffered sudden cardiac arrest.  Unfortunately this person did not survive because they were found too late.  


Two weeks later, I hear another story of a construction worker who suffered sudden cardiac arrest.  This time the out come was better.  Because Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was started, and EMS was called, the worker survived.  


What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?  According to The American Heart Association, “Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.”  This is different than a heart attack.  A heart attack is when the blood supply to a part of the heart is blocked, hence causing damage to the heart muscle.  A heart attack could cause cardiac arrest.


Can a person survive Sudden Cardiac Arrest?  Yes they can! Having workers trained in CPR, is just the beginning.  The Chain of Survival represents the most effective approach for treating Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  So what are the links in the Chain of Survival?   

  1. Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency medical services (Calling of 9-1-1)
  2. Early CPR with effective chest compressions.
  3. Rapid defibrillation with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) provides the best chance to return the heart to a normal rhythm.
  4. Effective advanced life support – is the procedures and medication used by paramedics, nurses, or doctors help sustain the chances for recovery.
  5. Post cardiac arrest care can help to increase the likelihood of long-term survival.


sudden cardiac arrestWho should be trained in CPR?  EVERYONE!  People working in the medical industry like doctors, nurses, technicians, dentists, those who work in the fire, rescue and police industries are trained.  But what about people in the construction industry like carpenters, plumbers, HVAC technicians, excavation and painters.  Should they be trained?  Absolutely!  What about teachers, parents, grandparents, bus drivers, church staff, nursery school teachers (in a church) or fitness instructors?  The list could go on and on.


sudden cardiac arrest

Why is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) so important?  A person who is experiencing Sudden Cardiac Arrest, may have a heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation.  An AED unit, when used properly, will send an electrical shock to the heart, to convert the ventricular fibrillation rhythm to a normal heart rhythm.  A person’s chances of survival will decrease about 10 percent for every minute that passes and defibrillation is not used.   


CPR training along with an AED unit should be a part of every company’s emergency planning.  It is very worth the investment.  What is the cost for an AED unit?  The cost can range from $1200 to approximately $3000.  


If you or your company is interested in hosting a CPR training class, please give us a call at 703-779-7330.  Depending on your location, we will come to your office.  If there are more than 20 participants, we provide a group discount. 


Be a life saver…..Learn CPR