Minutes count when sudden cardiac arrest strikes
(NC) Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can occur suddenly, without warning and usually results in death if not treated within minutes.
Different from a heart attack, SCA occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.
As many as 85 per cent of all SCAs happen in homes and public spaces and many are witnessed by a family member, co-worker or friend. In these situations, the survival rate from SCA is less than 5 per cent, however by performing CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and using an AED before emergency medical services arrive, the chances of survival increase by as much as 75 per cent.
That's why it's important for Canadians to learn how to recognize SCA and to be ready, willing and able to jump in and take fast action. Immediately delivering CPR (to keep the blood flowing) and using a defibrillator within five minutes gives the best chance for survival. The Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator is the only new-generation defibrillator specifically designed for the home. The unit is safe can be used by virtually anyone in an emergency.
“[HeartStart] has a voice that talks to you the entire way through it,” said Richard Thomas an engineer who owns the device. “I tend to get excited and ahead of myself … it told me along the way exactly what to do.”
Close to 6,000 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been installed in public spaces, such as community centres, playing fields and parks, and public transit stations thanks to a partnership between the Heart and Stroke Foundation, federal and provincial governments and other funding agencies.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada. Death often occurs because a defibrillator doesn't arrive in time.
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