Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a medical emergency that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating effectively, leading to the abrupt loss of blood flow to vital organs, including the brain. During a cardiac arrest, the heart’s electrical system malfunctions, causing an irregular heart rhythm, usually ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. These abnormal rhythms prevent the heart from pumping blood properly, causing it to quiver or beat too fast and ineffectively.
SCA is a life-threatening condition that can lead to unconsciousness and death within minutes if not treated promptly. It is crucial to differentiate between cardiac arrest and a heart attack:
Cardiac arrest: This is a sudden stop in the heart’s pumping action, leading to a lack of blood flow to the body. It is often a result of an electrical problem in the heart’s rhythm.
Heart attack (Myocardial Infarction): This occurs when a blocked artery prevents blood flow to a portion of the heart muscle, leading to the death of that muscle. A heart attack can increase the risk of a cardiac arrest, but they are not the same thing.
Prompt action is essential in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED) can significantly increase the chances of survival. CPR helps maintain blood flow to vital organs until a normal heart rhythm can be restored through defibrillation, which delivers an electric shock to the heart to reset its rhythm.
Remember that sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, even those without any known heart issues, so being prepared and knowing how to respond in an emergency can save lives.
Having access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a matter of life and death. In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, every second counts, and an AED can be the difference between survival and tragedy. An AED delivers an electrical shock to the heart, restoring its normal rhythm. Immediate access to an AED significantly increases the chances of saving a life, underscoring the vital role it plays in safeguarding our communities. These devices are user-friendly and can be used by bystanders with minimal training, since 68% of sudden cardiac arrest incidents occur at home, there are many models of defibrillators now which are designed for home use.
Like other pieces of essential safety equipment, the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator was designed to be safe, reliable and easy to use. The Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator is the first and only defibrillator available without a prescription. Designed with you in mind, HeartStart Home is easy to set up and includes automatic CPR guidance features like voice prompts and CPR guidance to help guide you step-by-step through the treatment of sudden cardiac arrest.
When seconds count, would you know what to do? Every year, over 350,000 lives are lost due to sudden cardiac arrest, a leading cause of death worldwide. But there’s a powerful solution within your reach: CPR training.
Why is CPR training so crucial? Here’s why: