Bystander Resources

Three Easy Steps to Help Save a Life

If you see someone collapse suddenly, first check to see if the victim is responsive.  If not:

  1.  Call 911 for emergency assistance if no response.
  2.  Start chest compressions immediately
    • Put person on their back
    • Put the heel of your hand on the center of their chest put your other hand on top of the first
    • With your arms straight, push down hard and fast
    • Keep pushing until additional help arrives
  3.  Send someone to find an AED (automated external  defibrillator) if one is available.
    • Use the AED as soon as it arrives
    • Remove the victim’s shirt, turn on the AED and follow the voice prompts
    • Continue chest compressions after shocking the victim with the AED

How You are Helping

  • Chest compressions are essential to maximize the victim’s chance of survival, keeping oxygen in the blood circulating throughout the body
  • If chest compressions are not provided to a SCA victim within a few minutes, they will likely die.
  • No advanced therapy is more important than chest compressions. Waiting for help to arrive will decrease the chances of survival.
  • Using an AED to shock the heart back into rhythm can double the chance of survival.

Put your knowledge to work in our Save-A-Life Simulator

Helpful Links

  • American Heart Association Emergency Cardiac Care: Learn the latest in CPR
  • American Red Cross: CPR news and training programs in your area
  • Improving SCA survival rates in Minnesota
  • Be The Beat: American Heart Association SCA website offers free resources to schools and students
  • University of Washington School of Medicine: Learn CPR
  • SHARE (Save Hearts in Arizona Registry and Education): Arizona Department of Health Services’ website includes CPR videos and resources for all levels of response
  • Public access defibrillation programs: The HeartSafe program in Minnesota and the Minnesota State High School League’s Anyone Can Save A Life program are two great examples of how to train people in CPR and AED use.
To improve SCA survival rates within a community,
the three levels of response – bystander, prehospital and hospital –
must be connected and coordinated.