Check… Call… Compress in Cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

If you see someone collapse unexpectedly this is usually the result of cardiac arrest. Studies conducted by the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center have shown that by doing chest compressions only, without mouth-to-mouth breathing, bystanders increase the person’s chance of survival. Follow these three steps to perform Chest-Compression-Only Resuscitation:

Check for responsiveness - Shake the person and shout, “Are you OK?”


Call - Direct someone to call 9-1-1 or make the call yourself if the person is unresponsive and struggling to breathe (gasping or snoring).

Compress - Begin forceful chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute. Position the victim back down on the floor.  Place the heel of one hand on top of the other and place the heel of the bottom hand on the center of the victim’s chest.  Lock your elbows and compress the chest forcefully; make sure you lift up enough to let the chest recoil.

If an AED (heart with lightening flash symbol) is available, turn the unit on and follow the voice instructions. If no AED (automated external defibrillator) is available, perform chest compressions continuously until the paramedics arrive. This is physically tiring so if someone else is available, take turns after each 100 chest compressions. Learn how to use an AED.

Remember: If you suspect drowning or drug overdose, follow standard CPR procedures (alternate 30 chest compressions with two mouth-to-mouth breaths).

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What is The PEARL Study?

A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial of Early Coronary Angiography Versus No Early Coronary Angiography for Post-Cardiac Arrest Patients Without ECG ST Segment Elevation, called The PEARL Study for short, is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of coronary angiography (also known as heart catheterization) performed within 90 minutes of hospital arrival in a population of post-cardiac arrest patients without ST Segment elevation on their electrocardiograms (ECGs). This study will help answer the question: “Does an early heart catheterization improve  cardiac arrest survival, regardless of what the ECG shows?”

Learn more on the PEARL Study webpage. You can help Dr. Karl Kern and Dr. Kwan Lee advance this study by completing a community survey either online here or by mailing a printed copy of the survey to: Deborah Strootman, RN, BSN, PEARL Study Research Nurse, University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, P.O. Box 245046, Tucson,  AZ  85724 Please Take a Short Survey!