Many people equate Sudden Cardiac Arrest with a heart attack, but that is simply not the case. While a heart attack is caused by a a blockage in a vessel that supplies blood to the heart, Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops beating.
Both of these conditions can be treated immediately with CPR, but the fatality rate of Sudden Cardiac Arrest is much higher. Since 80% of Sudden Cardiac Arrest cases occur at home, the survival rate is only 8%. In many cases, lives could have been saved as a result of CPR or having access to an AED.
Especially in an out of hospital scenario, it is imperative that someone suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest receive CPR and have access to an AED. An AED is a portable device that assesses the heart’s rhythm and shocks it if necessary. These devices are extremely effective and do not harm a patient who may not suffer from Sudden Cardiac Arrest because it will only work if the heart has stopped.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a scary reality because it can affect otherwise healthy individuals and doesn’t have any warning signs. The best thing to do if you think someone is suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest is to administer CPR and call emergency services.