Sudden Cardiac Arrest
What is sudden cardiac arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death globally, with a survival rate of less than 1% worldwide.1
Sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical disturbance in the heart that prevents it from beating properly. During SCA, the ventricles of the heart flutter in a phenomenon known as ventricular fibrillation, making them unable to deliver blood to the body. The heart responds by quivering, rather than beating in a normal fashion. Blood flow to the brain is reduced to the point that the person loses consciousness and collapses. Unless emergency treatment is provided quickly, death usually follows.
Everyone is at risk
There are no warning signs associated with SCA. It often affects those who have experienced previous episodes of SCA, heart attacks, or heart failure; but it can also strike someone with absolutely no history of heart problems, including those who appear to be in excellent health.
- • CPR, to keep the blood flowing through the body
- • Defibrillation, to restore a normal rhythm to the heart
How do I recognize sudden cardiac arrest?
When a victim of SCA collapses, these signs are observed:
- • No pulse
- • No consciousness
- • No breathing
- • No effective heart beat
Every minute counts
Medical attention must be administered as soon as possible after the victim collapses; the chances for survival decrease 10% with every minute you do nothing.
What role does CPR play in survival?
Once the heart stops pumping, seconds count. All victims of SCA need immediate CPR. CPR buys time for the victim by supplying life-sustaining oxygen to the brain, heart, and other vital organs, until fully equipped emergency medical personnel arrive on the scene.
What is an AED?
An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a device that automatically analyzes heart rhythms and advises the operator to deliver a shock if the heart is in a fatal heart rhythm. The shock is delivered through electrode pads applied to the victim’s bare chest.
ZOLL AEDs have real-time CPR feedback technology to look at rescuers’ delivery of chest compressions and help rescuers deliver high-quality CPR, which optimizes the victim’s opportunity for increased survival. AEDs are safe and easy to use by lay persons, who have no medical training.