Recognize the sudden cardiac arrest emergency and call 911. Recognizing the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest is vital in treating it successfully.
- Loss of consciousness
- Lack of pulse
- No breathing
will get to the victim more quickly.
Early DefibrillationDefibrillation is the only way to stop sudden cardiac arrest. When SCA occurs, the heart must be restarted by an electrical shock. Outside a hospital setting, the only way to restart the heart is by using an automated external defibrillator (AED). Having one nearby or on the emergency vehicle when it arrives is vital. When an AED is used and electrodes are placed on the victim’s chest, electricity flows from the electrodes through the chest to the heart. For each minute that passes between collapse and defibrillation, SCA survival rates can decrease from seven to ten percent. Responders should use an AED as soon as possible to increase the chance of survival.
Early Advanced CareAdvanced care, after using the AED, is given to the patient by paramedics and other highly trained medical personnel on scene and when the SCA victim is being transported to the hospital. Advanced care is necessary to help maintain a normal heart rhythm after successful defibrillation.