Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can strike anyone, anywhere. A loved one. A friend. A young athlete. A member of your community.
Every year, nearly 300,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) every year—and up to 15,000 are children. More deaths are caused by cardiac arrest than by breast cancer, lung and colon cancer, and HIV combined. When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, circulation is impaired, and the brain begins to suffer lack of oxygen within four to six minutes—and this can have serious consequences.
The use of an AED is critical in the chain of survival after SCA. CPR alone cannot fully resuscitate a person of SCA, and the delivery of an electrical shock to the heart muscle, can help the heart re-establish its proper rhythm and get the blood circulating.
In California, the availability of AEDs in public locations is still an evolving trend from when the time-sensitivity of SCA and the importance of pre-hospital care were first established. The American Heart Association reports that 40,000 additional lives could be saved in the United States each year with widespread access to defibrillation.
When a cardiac arrest occurs, time is of the essence. You have to act fast.
According to the American Heart Association, reducing the time interval between CPR to delivery of a shock by even a few seconds can increase a person’s possibility of survival. For every minute that passes without a defibrillation, the chances for survival drop by 7-10%, After 10 minutes survival may be unlikely. Consider the possibility that an emergency medical team (EMT) may not be able to make it to the scene, and hospitals may be miles away. What if automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, were made available in public places, like schools, recreation centers, and gyms—anywhere people in the community congregate? Think of how many lives could be saved.
Data/Information: American Red Cross website.