New! Staying Alive 3D for iPad is now available. Download it for free on the iTunes App Store and learn how to save a life from your mobile device.

Staying Alive 3D | Level 1

Your colleague just suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the office floor. You have 4 minutes to save him through a virtual 3D Experience during which you will learn the basic actions and gestures.
Call the emergency services, practice CPR and use a defibrillator.

Level: Beginner
Environment: Office

Staying Alive 3D | Level 1

Staying Alive 3D | Level 2

A member of your soccer team suddenly collapsed during training. Learn and apply the right actions and gestures to quickly save his life.
Ask your friends to call the emergency services and find a defibrillator while you practice CPR and prepare to administer an electric shock.

Level: Advanced
Environment: Soccer field

Staying Alive 3D | Level 2

Cardiac arrest & Resuscitation techniques

Do you recall one of Saturday Night Fever's best songs called "Stayin' Alive" and performed by the Bee Gees?

Under most circumstances, you would not keep the beat of this song in your head, but heart specialists have come up with one good reason to remember it: It could save someone's life. Turns out the hit is very close to 100 beats per minute, a perfect number to maintain the best rhythm for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, when faced with a person suffering a cardiac arrest.

In order to learn the right reflexes and techniques, Dassault Systèmes and Ilumens have created the Staying Alive 3D Experience. Playing a witness, you have 4 minutes to react, call emergency services, perform CPR and use a defibrillator.

Staying Alive 3D online experience was launched to support the World Heart Day organized by the World Health Organization.

While only 3% to 4% of people survive from cardiac arrest in France, they are 30% in Seattle, thanks to basic training taught at school and defibrillators being setup in public places, at work or simply in the street next to homes. Indeed, heart attacks mainly happen at home or in the office and in 80% of cases with no medical staff around, which means everyone (including children) need to be trained.

Cardiac Arrest - Causes

Cardiac arrest, (also known as cardiopulmonary arrest or circulatory arrest) is the cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the heart to contract effectively. Medical personnel can refer to an unexpected cardiac arrest as a sudden cardiac arrest or SCA.

A cardiac arrest is different from (but may be caused by) a heart attack, where blood flow to the muscle of the heart is impaired.

Arrested blood circulation prevents delivery of oxygen to the body. Lack of oxygen to the brain causes loss of consciousness, which then results in abnormal or absent breathing. Brain injury is likely if cardiac arrest goes untreated for more than five minutes. For the best chance of survival and neurological recovery, immediate and decisive treatment is imperative.

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that, in certain situations, is potentially reversible if treated early. When unexpected cardiac arrest leads to death this is called sudden cardiac death (SCD). The treatment for cardiac arrest is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to provide circulatory support, followed by defibrillation if a shockable rhythm is present. If a shockable rhythm is not present after CPR and other interventions, clinical death is inevitable.

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest. Many other cardiac and non-cardiac conditions also increase ones risk.

  • Approximately 60-70% of SCD is related to coronary heart disease. Among adults, ischemic heart disease is the predominant cause of arrest with 30% of people at autopsy showing signs of recent myocardial infarction; A number of other cardiac abnormalities can increase the risk of SCD including: cardiomyopathy, cardiac rhythm disturbances, hypertensive heart disease, congestive heart failure.

  • In a group of military recruits aged 18-35, cardiac anomalies accounted for 51% of cases of SCD, while in 35% of cases the cause remained unknown. Underlying pathology included: coronary artery abnormalities (61%), myocarditis (20%), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (13%). Congestive heart failure increases the risk of SCD by 5 fold.

  • Many additional conduction abnormalities exist that place one at higher risk for cardiac arrest. For instance, long QT syndrome, a condition often mentioned in young people's deaths, occurs in 1/5,000 - 1/7,000 newborns and is estimated to be responsible 3,000 deaths each year compared to the approximately 300,000 cardiac arrests seen by emergency services . These conditions are a fraction of the overall deaths related to cardiac arrest, but represent conditions which may be detected prior to arrest, which maybe treatable.

  • SCDs is unrelated to heart problems in 35% of cases. The most common non-cardiac causes: trauma, non-trauma related bleeding (such as gastrointestinal bleeding, aortic rupture, and intracranial hemorrhage), overdose, drowning and pulmonary embolism.

Cardiac Arrest - Diagnostic

Cardiac arrest is synonymous with clinical death:

  • A cardiac arrest is usually diagnosed clinically by the absence of a pulse. In many cases lack of carotid pulse is the gold standard for diagnosing cardiac arrest, but lack of a pulse (particularly in the peripheral pulses) may be a result of other conditions (e.g. shock), or simply an error on the part of the rescuer. Studies have shown that rescuers often make a mistake when checking the carotid pulse in an emergency, whether they are healthcare professionals or lay persons.

  • Owing to the inaccuracy in this method of diagnosis, some bodies such as the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) have de-emphasised its importance. The Resuscitation Council (UK), in line with the ERC's recommendations and those of the American Heart Association, have suggested that the technique should be used only by healthcare professionals with specific training and expertise, and even then that it should be viewed in conjunction with other indicators such as agonal respiration.

  • Various other methods for detecting circulation have been proposed. Guidelines following the 2,000 International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) recommendations were for rescuers to look for "signs of circulation", but not specifically the pulse. The current recommendation of ILCOR is that cardiac arrest should be diagnosed in all casualties who are unconscious and not breathing normally.

  • With positive outcomes following cardiac arrest unlikely, an effort has been spent in finding effective strategies to prevent cardiac arrest. With the prime causes of cardiac arrest being ischemic heart disease, efforts to promote a healthy diet, exercise, and smoking cessation are important. For people at risk of heart disease, measures such as blood pressure control, cholesterol lowering, and other medico-therapeutic interventions are used.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. It is indicated in those who are unresponsive with no breathing or abnormal breathing, for example agonal respirations. It may be performed both in and outside of a hospital.

    CPR involves chest compressions at least 5 cm deep and at a rate of at least 100 per minute in an effort to create artificial circulation by manually pumping blood through the heart. A simplified CPR method involving chest compressions only is recommended for untrained rescuers.

    CPR alone is unlikely to restart the heart; its main purpose is to restore partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart. The objective is to delay tissue death and to extend the brief window of opportunity for a successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage. Administration of an electric shock to the subject's heart, termed defibrillation, is usually needed in order to restore a viable or "perfusing" heart rhythm. Defibrillation is only effective for certain heart rhythms, namely ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia, rather than asystole or pulseless electrical activity. CPR may succeed in inducing a heart rhythm which may be shockable. CPR is generally continued until the subject regains return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) or is declared dead.

    Automated external defibrillator

    Automated external defibrillator (AED) are simple-to-use units are based on computer technology which is designed to analyze the heart rhythm itself, and then advise the user whether a shock is required. They are designed to be used by lay persons, who require little training to operate them correctly. They are usually limited in their interventions to delivering high joule shocks for VF (ventricular fibrillation) and VT (ventricular tachycardia) rhythms, making them generally of limited use to health professionals, who could diagnose and treat a wider range of problems with a manual or semi-automatic unit.

    Automated external defibrillators are generally either held by trained personnel who will attend incidents, or are public access units which can be found in places including corporate and government offices, shopping centres, airports, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, schools and universities, community centers, fitness centers and health clubs.

    3D modeling and simulation have, for several decades, enabled companies to create, optimize and manufacture their products with a physical representation that matches reality.

    Meanwhile, the global video game market has proved, within massive multi-player online environments, the advantages provided by scripts and artistic representations of imaginary virtual worlds.

    By bringing these two concepts on a Cloud collaborative platform, developing new innovative 3D uses and publishing globally 3D experiences on different terminals has never been so easy.

    Dassault Systèmes has therefore decided to extend the use of 3D physically conform to reality (initially used by professionals), and reach a much wider audience, today through your Internet browser, and tomorrow through tablets.
    3D Experiences, also known as Serious Games, open the world to new uses: communication and experiential marketing, documentation, training or education.

    Learning by doing in a virtual world also provides a better retention of information: For instance, in the medical sector, living a 3D Experience as a virtual patient helps understand how to treat him more efficiently.The gamification also transforms the learning dynamics, promote team spirit and competition between users.

    Digitalised medical equipment and 3D assets behave like their real versions: They provide relative-time learning experiences and leverage the abilities of an effective teacher.They do not replace the physical version but let an illimited number of users play and replay actions, grow and perform in a hostile environment, act on a virtual patient, etc.

    Beyond the medical community, transformed by these technologies, many sectors and uses can be involved. Imagine them!


    This experiment was made possible with the involvement and support of the following partners.