What Do I Do If Someone Collapses While I’m Grocery Shopping?

CPR Needed

What Do I Do If Someone Collapses While I’m Grocery Shopping?

Every single day, about 1,000 people experience a sudden cardiac arrest event. Annually,
there are over 356,000 cases of cardiac arrest cases that happen out of the hospital. What if
someone suddenly collapses in front of you, on your way to pay for your groceries? Knowing
how to respond can become a life-saving reaction at that very moment. We’ll take a closer
look at the best course of action to take – and the focus is on maximizing the chances of
saving that person’s life.

Step 1: Stay Calm And Assess The Situation
Panicking at the point where you see someone collapse is the last thing you want to do.
While it is a dire and fearful situation, it’s important to stay calm.

Now, it’s true that there will be panic around you. Perhaps the loved ones of the person who
collapses start to show signs of distress and panic – but that doesn’t mean you should do the
same. Instead, remaining calm will give you a chance to assess the situation.

At this point, one of the most important things is to determine is if the person is breathing.
And that’s where you come in. It’s important not to shake the person on the shoulder, which
is something that people might do as a first response when they see a loved one pass out.
Instead, you want to get that person onto their back with their head laid backward.

This position can help to open up the person’s airway and, in turn, help them get back to
breathing. Now, at this point, if it doesn’t help, bring your ear close to the mouth of the
person who collapsed. The goal is to determine if they are breathing – even if only slightly.
You should be able to feel them breathe or hear their breathing if you hold your head close
to their mouth.

You can also look at their chest. Is it moving up and down?
This is where you’ll need to understand whether the next step is CPR or not. If the person
does not appear to be breathing, then you’ll need to start CPR as quickly as possible.
Step 2: Start Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

CPR Training

When the person who collapsed is not breathing, there are two important things that you
need to do. First, get someone to look for help. They should call 911 immediately. Also, ask
that person to see if they can find a defibrillator in the surrounding area. While they are on
the call with 911, the operator might also be able to point them in the right direction based on
your location.
Now, in terms of CPR, if you have an ACLS or PALS certification, then you should already
know the right procedure. We’ll cover the basics here as well to ensure you know exactly
what you need to do. Remember that you need to start CPR as fast as possible after
confirming that the person is not breathing.

  1. Start by kneeling down beside the person and moving over them. It’s a good idea to
    get your hands straight as this helps you put your own body’s weight on the person.
  2. Place your hands over each other flat on that person’s chest. Make sure your hands
    are positioned at the center of your chest.
  3. Once in position, start pushing down onto their chest. You should do this with firm
    movements. The idea is to push down on their chest, and compress two to 2.5
    inches. The aim here is to push down twice per second.
    When you push down on their chest, it’s going to help blood flow to their vital organs. This
    includes the brain – and if blood can’t reach the brain while the person is unconscious, it can
    cause serious, permanent damage. You should continue this until help arrives or until
    someone is able to bring you a defibrillator.
  4. Step 3: Ask For A Defibrillator (AED)
    A defibrillator, also known as an AED, can also help to increase the chances of survival for
    the unconscious person. It’s basically a device that sends an electric shock to the person’s
    heart in an attempt to restart their heart.
    If you don’t have an ACLS certification yet, then don’t worry. Most modern defibrillators come
    with voice commands that will actually guide you through the entire process. Once you turn it
    on, the device will instruct you on what to do.
    You’ll start by placing the pads that are attached to the defibrillator onto the person’s chest.
    The device will then do a quick analysis to determine if it needs to produce this particular
    electric shock in order to restart the heart.
    Even if the person regains consciousness, it’s important to remain on the scene. Once the
    ambulance and paramedics arrive, you should provide them with details about the steps you
    performed. This can help them determine what they should do next.

The Benefits Of ACLS Certifications In These Scenarios

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Without anyone nearby who can perform CPR and other strategies, the chances of survival
diminish with every passing second. The earlier actions can be taken to help save the
person who collapsed, the higher the chances that they will survive.
CPR alone can already do a lot when it comes to rescuing these people. While the
ambulance is on the way, this technique can be immensely helpful in ensuring blood
continues to pump to vital organs in the person’s body.
If you want to make sure you’re well-prepared for such an unfortunate situation, should it
ever arise, then you can even take things a step further. ACLS educates you on advanced
cardiac life support techniques that can further improve your survival chance. There are
several ways to get your certification, but thanks to advancements in internet access and
technologies, you can do the course completely online with a provider like
If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone collapses in front of you, having the
skills to perform CPR can be life-saving. When it comes to ensuring you’re prepared for this

type of situation, you can even increase your own skillset by opting for an ACLS certification.
This gives you access to more advanced techniques that ensure you’re ready to face these
kinds of situations.

Latest Statistics. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.

M.S. van Gijn, D. Frijns, E.M.M. van de Glind, et al. The chance of survival and the
functional outcome after in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation in older people: a
systematic review. Journal of Age and Ageing. Published July 2014. https://