Facts about Sudden Cardiac Arrest:
Sudden cardiac arrest strikes about 42 men, women and children every hour in the United States, usually without any prior symptoms.
The national survival rate for SCA is 7%.
Our organization’s mission is to support SCA survivors and their families, advocate for community access to AEDs and educate people about SCA and early defibrillation. Our website contains a wealth of information. Please look around and be sure to contact us with any questions you might have!
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
The most common cause of SCA is an electrical malfunction in the heart resulting in an abnormal heart rhythm. This abnormal rhythm, called ventricular fibrillation, is an ineffective quivering of the heart muscle that makes it unable to pump blood through the body.
It’s Not a Heart Attack
This electrical malfunction is different from a heart attack. A heart attack is a problem with the plumbing of the heart resulting in ineffective blood supply. This causes the pain and symptoms. A severe heart attack can lead to SCA but most of the time they are separate events.
The only definitive treatment for ventricular fibrillation is the administration of an electrical shock by a device called an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Time is Critical!!
But defibrillation is only effective if it is applied quickly – within three to five minutes. The success of resuscitation drops about 10 percent with each passing minute. After 10 minutes in cardiac arrest, a person’s chance of survival is only about 2 percent.
Automated External Defibrillators are simple, inexpensive, easy to use devices that can only help the victim. They analyze the heart’s rhythm and tell the user to deliver a defibrillation shock only if it is needed. The shock interrupts an abnormal heart rhythm and allows the normal rhythm to regain control.