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Sudden Cardiac Arrest FAQs

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is when the heart stops suddenly, usually due to ventricular fibrillation.  During Sudden Cardiac Arrest, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

Who is at Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Everyone is at risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest, from infants to the elderly. However, those who suffer from heart disease are at a much higher risk for SCA. 

Heart disease in young children often goes unnoticed.  When parents enroll their children in youth sports programs, they should have their children screened for heart disease and heart defects.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the No. 1 killer of student athletes.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Treatment

With no way to prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the important thing is to learn how to respond to it. Learning CPR and having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) close by is the best way to prepare for possible Sudden Cardiac Arrest. In most cases, bystander CPR is the most crucial aspect of treatment.

For every minute a person goes without treatment (CPR administration or a shock from an AED), their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.

Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest a Heart Attack?

No, Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not the same as a heart attack.  While Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a malfunction of the heart that results in no heartbeat, a heart attack is blocked blood flow to the heart.

Find more information about the difference here.

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