How can bystanders help in a medical emergency? Start the “chain of survival.”

Hi, I’m Eric from Q101. But when I’m not introducing the latest Panic! At The Disco record, I’m working my career — as a firefighter/paramedic in the suburbs of Chicago.

In the wake of what America witnessed on the NFL field this week, Brian & Justin correctly seized upon a question a lot of us are asking — how could we help (in the low percentage but very real chance, unfortunately) if something like that were to happen around you?

Here is a summary of the things I said as a guest of the show this morning — all a part of the concept known as Chain Of Survival:

  • First, make sure help is on the way by assigning someone to call 9-1-1. Don’t assume someone already has. Don’t assume first responders know where you are and what you are dealing with. The faster an ambulance can get moving your way, the better.
  • #2 — if someone is not breathing and doesn’t have a pulse, start hands-only CPR. Put one hand over the other and push hard & fast in the center of the chest. Keep doing that until help arrives.
  • Lastly, if there is an automated external defibrillator (AED) available — make sure that someone grabs it. Open it up. It will give you instructions on what to do. That simple.

The concept of the “Chain Of Survival” starts with immediate care in the field — whether it be stroke recognition, CPR and early defibrillation, or stopping bleeding. If that care can be started by YOU while waiting on the pros to come, a person has a much better chance of survival.