What is sudden cardiac arrest? • Condition in which heart stops abruptly • Usually caused by ventricular fibrillation (abnormality in heart’s electrical system) • Not the same as heart attack • Results in death if not treated immediately
How common is SCA? • One of leading causes of death in U.S. • At least 250,000 suffer SCA each year • Median age of victim: 65 years, but affects people of all ages, even teenagers
How can SCA be treated? • Ideal treatment for most cases: • Early CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to keep heart viable until defibrillator arrives • Early defibrillation (delivery of electrical shocks with defibrillator)
Why is early defibrillation so important? • Chance of survival from SCA diminish 7-10% with every minute after collapse
Why is early defibrillation so important? • Only 7% now survive • 30% or more could survive in community settings • If even 20% survive, 50,000 lives could be saved each year
Do you have to be medically trained to use defibrillator? • No. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are simple, safe and easy to use • Non-medical personnel can use AEDs with minimum of training
American College of Emergency Physicians American Heart Association American Public Health Association American Red Cross Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians Citizen CPR Foundation Emergency Care Research Institute Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada International Association of Chiefs of Police International Association of Fire Chiefs International Association of Fire Fighters International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation National Association of EMS Physicians National Association of State EMS Directors National Association of State EMS Training Coordinators, Inc. National Center for Early Defibrillation National Heart Lung and Blood Institute National Safety Council Occupational Safety and Health Administration Who supports increased access to defibrillation?
Are AED programs cost-effective? • Cost of first responder AED programs over five years: $4,400 to $8,000 per year of life saved • Compares favorably with costs of other medical interventions
How you can help your community prepare for SCA • Make sure local EMS, fire and police are trained and equipped with defibrillators. • Consider advocating on-site AED programs in population centers that cannot be reached by emergency responders in less than five minutes
How you can help your community prepare for SCA • Call 911 immediately in the case of apparent emergencies. • Learn CPR. Encourage your family members, friends and neighbors to learn CPR. • Learn how to use an AED. • Remember that the key to survival is quick action.
How you can help your community prepare for SCA • Call 1-866 AED-INFO or visit www.early-defib.org for more information.