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Published on Oct 16, 2021

This is a global campaign that takes place on the 16th of October every year. The campaign is aimed at increasing the awareness of cardiac arrest and the importance of bystanders being able to give CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as a first aid to a patient having cardiac arrest.

What is Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function (inability of the heart to pump blood effectively leading to loss of blood flow), breathing and unconsciousness. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart. It occurs suddenly and at times without warning.

Signs and symptoms

Some symptoms of cardiac arrest are immediate and might be observed by a bystander. These include:

  • Sudden collapse
  • No pulse
  • No breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

Some signs can be noticed by a person about to have a cardiac arrest. These include:

  • Shortness of breadth
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pounding or fast-beating heart.
  • Fainting or near fainting.

How to Initiate CPR by Hand

The following set of procedures are as stated by the American Red Cross. There are two instances that should be adhered to when try to administer the procedure. Instances are as stated and detailed below:

Before giving CPR

  1. Check the scene of incidence to ensure the area is safe. Proceed by tapping the person and asking the person in a loud voice; “Are you okay?”
  2. Call the designated number or ask any bystander to call the medical emergency in your region. While that is ongoing, look for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) or ask someone to do so and get it.
  3. In the absence of an AED, you can proceed to giving the needed assistance.
  4. With the person lying on his or her back, tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin.
  5. Check for breathing. In the space of 10 seconds, check for sounds of breathing. If none, initiate CPR by hand.

During CPR

  1. Place your hands on top of each other and exert pressure through your body weight in the middle of the chest. While bodyweight is exerted, administer compressions that are 2 inches deep and at a rate of no less than 100 compressions per minute. You need to push hard and fast.
  2. With the person’s head tilted back and chin raised, close the nose by pinching firmly and put your mouth on the person’s mouth. Blow air into the person to make the chest rise. Do this twice and continue compressions.
  3. Continue CPR until the person regains consciousness, an AED is made available, or an emergency response team is on the ground.

Note: In the 2nd step of the “During CPR” instance, if the chest does not rise with the initial breath delivered, re-tilt the head before delivering the 2nd breath. If the chest does not increase with the 2nd breadth, the person might be choking. Check to see if something is blocking the air passage and remove it.

The importance of administering first aid before a medical team arrives on the scene can’t be overemphasized.

For your emergency services or to get an ambulance call; 080 8111 1121. Terms and conditions apply.



  1. CPR Steps
  2. Cardiac Arrest