Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Heart attack, drowning, electric shock, and other medical problems may cause a person’s heart to stop pumping blood. This is called sudden cardiac arrest.

Signs and Symptoms of a possible heart attack

  • Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain)
  • Discomfort in other areas of upper body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating, nausea, lightheadedness

Signs and Symptoms of a sudden cardiac arrest

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

Importance of CPR and AED

The immediate and effective use of Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), coupled with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), improves chances of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.

Many campus buildings have a wall-mounted AED at a readily accessible location.

An AED will diagnose the person’s condition prior to delivering a shock, and will only deliver a shock to a person in cardiac arrest. By following its audible commands an untrained person can safely use an AED.

If a person has suddenly collapsed:

  1. Check the person for a response.
  2. If the person is not responsive, notify (or tell someone else to notify) Yale Police by calling 203-432-4400, by using a blue campus phone, or calling 911.
  3. Report:
    • Location (building and room number)
    • Best entrance for responders to go to (someone should meet responders at the entrance)
    • Your name and the number from which you are calling
    • If available, retrieve building’s AED (or tell someone else to bring the AED).
  4. If you are trained, perform hands-only CPR. Push hard and fast in the center of chest.
  5. When the AED arrives, turn it ON and follow its commands.
  6. Report all incidents as instructed under “Other medical emergencies.”