About sudden cardiac arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in Europe, claiming over 250,000 lives every year. What is sudden cardiac arrest and what are its main causes? How can it be treated? And above all: what can we do to fight it?
What is sudden cardiac arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating. When that happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. If it is not treated, SCA usually causes death within minutes.
How can it be treated?
SCA is an emergency. A person suffering from SCA needs to be treated with a defibrillator right away. A defibrillator is a device that sends an electric shock to the heart. The electric shock can restore a normal rhythm to a heart that's stopped beating. To work well, it needs to be done within minutes of the SCA.
What is an AED? And why is it important?
An AED (automated external defibrillator) is a portable device that can analyse the heart’s rhythm and deliver an electrical shock (defibrillation) to restart a person’s heart in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.
Defibrillation from an AED is the only remedy for sudden cardiac arrest. In general, emergency services take too long to reach the emergency location, and survival chances drop by 10% each minute.
What is CPR?
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is an emergency life-saving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can greatly increase the chance of survival in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.
A life-saving combination
If we teach European citizens how to perform CPR and ensure that they have access to a nearby AED, we will be able to save thousands of lives every year.