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4 Ways to Save a Life during National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

Liza Mendelson


October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. It’s always good to stay informed on life-saving techniques, and this month is no exception. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It is a national public health crisis that strikes nearly 1,000 people outside of hospitals every day, including over 7,000 youth under age 18 and on average 70% in homes. SCA can lead to death in minutes if the victim doesn’t get help right away. Even if a victim does receive help, chances of survival decrease by 10% for every minute delayed. That’s why it’s so important to know what to do in the unfortunate event of sudden cardiac arrest.

Continue reading to learn 4 ways you can help unexpected victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

1. Recognizing Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

The first way you can help is knowing how to recognize when someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. A person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest usually collapses, cannot respond and has abnormal breathing.
Sudden cardiac arrest IS NOT the same as a heart attack.

The differences between sudden cardiac arrest and heart attack are:

  • A sudden cardiac arrest victim is unresponsive, not breathing normally, and needs CPR/AED.
  • A heart attack victim is responsive, breathing, and does not need CPR/AED.

2. Call 911 to Get Help

If you recognize that someone is experiencing SCA symptoms, call 911 immediately. The dispatcher will give you instructions on how to best handle the situation, even if you have no further training. Yell out to those nearby for assistance with CPR and retrieving an AED.

3. PUSH to Triple the Chance of Survival by Administering CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can help a victim of sudden cardiac arrest survive. CPR maintained at a steady rhythm of 100 to 120 BPM (beats per minute) will help oxygenated blood to circulate throughout the body (to the brain and heart). You need to ACT FAST, within 4-6 minutes, or the victim will receive permanent brain damage or die. Today, 1 in every 10 sudden cardiac arrest victims survives. CPR training is recommended, however NOT required to save the life of someone in need! As long as you act in good faith, you are protected under the Good Samaritan Law.

The American Heart Association (AHA), American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI), and American Red Cross (ARC) have CPR, AED, and First Aid national certifications that prepare people to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest. If you’re interested in getting certified, view Life Rescue Training's calendar of classes.

4. Shock to Restart the Heart

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is to restore to a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart. If bystanders give CPR and use an AED immediately, 5 in 10 could survive. Make sure you have an AED accessible where ever you are or go! Simply put, an AED is a life-saving tool and they have helped save countless lives. Many people think of AEDs as something you would find in a public place such as a pool or gym. But since 7 in 10 sudden cardiac arrests happen in the home, it can be a good idea to have one at home, in the office, or in other places you visit frequently.

Think about where you are most often. Is there an AED? How will you protect your family, colleagues, or friends in the unfortunate event of sudden cardiac arrest? Visit our Life Rescue Training shop to browse our AED selection so you can help save a life! And ask us about our special pricing during the month of October.

Always Be Rescue Ready!

Get certified in CPR, AED, and First Aid and ask us about our line of AED selections.

Learn more about how to help someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest by using the Call Push Shock method. Contact us anytime to develop a safety plan for your home and workplace.


Want to learn more on how to be prepared?

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