Spanish for Paramedics: Cardiac Arrest, Too Late for CPR

This is the first of 4 scenarios where the paramedics respond to an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. In this first scenario, the patient is already in rigor mortis, and the paramedic must explain why they are not initiating CPR. 


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Daniela explains the scenario 2:19

Dialogue between roommate and paramedic 2:49 


Scenario 4:24

Rigor Mortis 6:31

Pre-existing conditions 12:26 

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I recorded this dialogue with one of my Spanish teachers from México, Daniela Grave. Click here to take lessons with Daniela.  

Vocabulary Review

Setting the scene


cardiopulmonary resuscitation
la reanimación cardiopulmonar / la resucitación cardiopulmonar.

la RCP

En México se dice departamento por “apartment.” ¿Cómo dijo Daniela, “roommate” al referirse a la persona con la que el paciente compartía departamento?

roommate (in an apartment)
el compañero de departamento / la compañera de departamento

Otra palabra que escucharás mucho en México para decir ROOMMATE es un calco de inglés. 

roommate (colloquialism en México)
el roomie, la roomie

not breathing or without breathing
sin respirar

He found him not breathing
Lo encontró sin respirar

el pulso

el paramédico, la paramédica

Rigor Mortis


rigor mortis
el rigor mortis

signs (as in “signs of rigor mortis”)
las señales, los signos

Amongst healthcare providers, you’ll also hear the term, “signos” as in “signos y síntomas” o “signos vitales.” Y además de “señales de rigor mortis,” podrías decir, “signos de rigor mortis.”

la rigidez

la mandíbula

los músculos

las extremidades

his heart stopped
Su corazón se paró. 
Su corazón se detuvo.

to restart the heart
reiniciar el corazón

Preexisting Conditions


pre-existing conditions
las condiciones preexistentes 

to use drugs
consumir drogas

las pastillas

Según Daniela, en México no es tan común utilizar la palabra píldora. para decir, “pill” a menos que se trate de anticonceptivos. 

to break up with his/her/their boyfriend
romper con su novio

deprimido, deprimida

to feel better
sentirse mejor

la pérdida

police officer
el oficial de policía / la oficial de policía.

the medical examiner’s office
la oficina del médico forense

¡Gracias por aprender español con nosotros! 

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