Sudden Cardiac Arrest Information
- Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) takes the lives of more than 310,000 people each year – almost 1,000 children and adults every day.
- Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), also known as sudden cardiac death, is when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.
- It is not a heart attack. It is an arrhythmia - a problem with the heart’s electrical system.
- If the heart is not shocked back into a normal rhythm with an automated external defibrillator (AED) within minutes, death is almost certain.
However, with AED use coupled with CPR, survival rates can reach 90% - an incredible improvement.
Cardiac arrest strikes immediately and without warning. Here’s what to look for:
- Sudden loss of responsiveness (no response to tapping on shoulders).
- No normal breathing (the victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds).
If these signs of cardiac arrest are present, call 9-1-1 and use an AED as soon as possible and begin CPR.