It’s Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month and an excellent time to educate yourself so you can help family, friends, and co-workers survive a sudden health crisis. If you are involved in community groups like PTA, Boy or Girl Scouts, veteran’s programs, hospital volunteers, and more, it’s important to show your support by taking community CPR classes and registering facility AEDs.
When a sudden cardiac arrest happens outside of a hospital, the survival rate is less than 10 percent. In the US, that equates to nearly 1000 deaths every day. Luckily, anyone can learn how to save a life by using the Chain of Survival. Each link in the chain increases the chances of a victim’s survival from SCA.
SCA Chain of Survival Links or Steps
- Identify SCA: This person is unresponsive, breathing sporadically, or not at all.
- Call 911: An emergency dispatcher gives you CPR instructions.
- Begin CPR: Push hard and fast (100-120 pumps/minute) in the center of the chest.
- Use an AED: If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is nearby, use it to restart the heart by following simplified audio or visual instructions.
- Transfer to EMS: Once emergency medical professionals arrive, they will take over and provide advanced life support until the victim reaches the hospital.
These steps emphasize education, lifesaving techniques, and equipment that contribute to survival and the need for care after a life-threatening incident. A healthy person, teen, or child can suddenly collapse and only has minutes to receive help before death.
The situation’s outcome depends on those nearby willing to call 911, start CPR (with or without rescue breaths), or use an AED when available to deliver a shock to restart the heart, as soon as possible. When bystanders intervene immediately, survival rates can triple.
Recognizing the Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month is every October and a reminder for everyone to become more familiar with what SCA is, how it happens, and what you can do to save someone’s life.
It’s important to know that a person with SCA has an electrical problem that stops the heart from beating unexpectedly. It can happen to anyone. The person is unconscious, stops breathing, and may appear to have seizures.
At Safety Solved, we teach you the difference between SCA and a heart attack in our community courses designed to help anyone save a life. A person experiencing a heart attack has a blocked artery preventing blood from getting to the heart. It mainly happens to people over 35 who will remain conscious and breathing while experiencing chest, neck, or arm pain. Calling 911 for help is urgent. Unless a heart attack victim becomes unconscious and stops breathing, they do not require CPR skills or the use of an AED.
To learn more and schedule classes for you or your organization, contact us! We help individuals serve their communities and also businesses that need to meet safety compliance requirements. Whether you’re a volunteer looking for in-person training or want to certify employees at your facility, we are here for you.
Sudden cardiac arrest foundation, About Sudden Cardiac Arrest, CPR/AED Laws, https://www.sca-aware.org/about-sudden-cardiac-arrest/cpr-aed-laws, Call, Push, Shock, https://www.sca-aware.org/call-push-shock, About SCA, https://www.sca-aware.org/about-sca, About Sudden Cardiac Arrest Chain of Survival, https://www.sca-aware.org/about-sudden-cardiac-arrest/the-chain-of-survival, SCA-aware.org, https://www.sca-aware.org/