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October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)Month

More than 350,000 deaths occur each year as a result of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). In fact, SCA claims one life every two minutes, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer, or AIDS.

More than 65 percent of Americans not only underestimate the seriousness of SCA, but also believe SCA is a type of heart attack. A heart attack is a plumbing problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. This chaotic rhythm of the heart stops the flow of blood throughout the body.  

Responding to SCA — Time is Everything 


Time-to-treatment is critical when considering the chance of survival for an SCA victim. Ninety-five percent of those who experience sudden cardiac arrest die because they do not receive life-saving defibrillation within four to six minutes, before brain and permanent death start to occur. But many people do not know how to respond when someone experiences SCA. 


The sequence to survival is: 

  1. Recognizing the signs of sudden cardiac arrest
  2. Call 911 as soon as possible 
  3. Start CPR   
  4. Use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) if one is available on site 
  5. Paramedics arrive with advanced care 
  6. Hospitalization 

The truth is; as good as 9-1-1 is, it's not perfect. There simply isn't time to wait for help to arrive. Someone must step in and fill the void until 9-1-1 gets there or the outcome is most likely dismal.

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month 





 ASHI Authorized Training Center Member of the National Preparedness Coalition