Why We Do What We Do

Someone recently wrote to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation and asked us why we do what we do. Why do we work so hard to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and help save lives? Why don’t we just accept the concept of letting people die naturally when it is their time?

This question is thought-provoking, but troubling. Yes, sudden cardiac death may be a painless way to go. Still, victims could have many years ahead of them to enjoy their families and other loved ones. And, we suspect, they would prefer to be with them on earth for a much longer time.

Just think of the lifetime events afforded to survivors…getting to see a son’s college graduation, a daughter’s wedding, the birth of a grandchild, and traveling to new destinations.

Learn it Young and Remember it Forever

An ad was created by a Cape Town agency, Not Norm for Scouts South Africa (SSA), the biggest youth organization in South Africa. The group teaches children and young adults "leadership abilities, teamwork, self-motivation, commitment, perseverance, environmental and cultural awareness and strong values," among other things, according to their website. The powerful ad is set to the sounds of an all-encompassing ocean, while on the shore, an empty chair and a book move with a quiet breeze. There's no one else around, sans the two people in the water. Then, a faint high note sounds in the background, intensifying the video as a young boy, dressed in full clothing, carries a girl in a swimsuit out from the water.

Using his instincts, the boy performs CPR on the girl. And suddenly, the video cuts ahead to the boy, all grown up...

...To reveal that this scene, in fact, was between father and daughter.

Survivors, Share Your Selfies!

September 29th is World Heart Day. October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. If you are a survivor of cardiac arrest, please consider sharing a photo of yourself holding the attached 8.5 x 11 inch sign, by either:

Please contact your legislators today

Your help is needed today to save the federally-funded Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. Designed to save lives from cardiac arrest, this program is in jeopardy of being terminated. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee proposes to end this life-saving program, but the U.S. House Appropriations Committee recommends $4.5 million for this initiative. Soon U.S. Members of Congress will work to resolve differences in the Senate and House health funding bills. So please send an e-mail to your U.S. legislators, urging them to include the House Appropriations Committee’s funding level of $4.5 million for this program in the final 2016 health appropriation bill. Funding for the Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program is used to buy automated external defibrillators in bulk, place AEDs in public rural areas where cardiac arrest is likely to occur, and train first responders and lay rescuers in their use.

Why it is so important to begin chest compression immediately and not stop

Often newspapers and magazines make a statement that implies that the probability of surviving a cardiac arrest is a x% per minute declining ramp. This, it turns out, is an oversimplification.

In many cases it's more accurate to think of it as three steps of decreasing survival probability:

The starting point is just before the arrest, and your chance of living through the day is essentially 100%.
The first step down is frequently a drop down to ~28% chance of surviving.
The second step down drops your chance of surviving to a little less than 5%
The third step down drops that number to 0%.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

On July 3, 2015, I suffered SCA while visiting family in Murrysville, PA. My husband and mother in law performed CPR on me until the paramedics arrived. They resuscitated me and life flighted me to UPMC Presbyterian. While there, a defibrillator (S-ICD) was implanted. I am receiving treatment for my injuries through a cardiologist and a neurologist. The cause of my SCA is still unknown.

The Importance Of Beginning Chest Compressions As Early As Possible

One doesn't have to read much about CPR for Cardiac Arrest victims to encounter the assertion that the probability of survival decreases about 10 percent per minute. Sometime other numbers are used.

This, it turns out, is an oversimplification.

One common sequence seen in sudden cardiac arrests is:
1. Normal sinus rhythm[doesn't need to be treated], followed by...
2. Supraventricular tachycardia [a shockable rhythm], followed by...
3. Ventricular fibrillation [a shockable rhythm], followed by...
4. Asystole [a non-shockable rhythm]

From Chan, McNally et al (DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.009711) we know that 27.9% of victims in shockable rhythms survive and 4.4% of victims in non-shockable rhythms survive.

Because you as a bystander do not have a heart monitor, you cannot know what the victim's rhythm is. But you do know that chest compression can delay the transition from a shockable rhythm to an unshockable rhythm.

Need quick help, please

My girlfriend had a stroke that kept her without a heartbeat for seventeen minutes. As soon as she was given cardiac pulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation, she got her consciousness back. She was okay till the very next morning, but when she was reminded of the issue that gave her a stroke, she lost her short term memory of up to one year. I tried reminding her of the past events and after a chat that lasted for more than one day with only breaks for sleep, she got her memory back. However, she didn't remember anything that had happened when her memory was off. This happens time and again whenever she gets emotional. She is a very emotional person and her memory has gone and come back seven times in a span of one month. Surprisingly, it is the same time period that she forgets. Does she need medical care? Will it help? How do I help her? As I type, she has lost her memory and denies talking to me as she believes that she is still in the relationship that she was in.


What I thought to be a normal day back in November 2013, quickly turned into my worst nightmare. After being at work for the day and coming home and doing my normal chores of school run and cooking dinner. I then got my kids to bed and proceeded to go for a run with my 7 year old Staffordshire bull terrier. He could quite easily run for 12 miles, but I myself, a previous smoker and a belly that Santa would be proud of, was never gonna achieve that, so I opted for the children's version and ran for about half a mile, in myself I actually felt I had achieved wonders but I probably didn't even burn100 calories, considering I'd already taken in about 3000 that day I wasn't gonna be slimmer of the year anytime soon.

My journey

February 14, 2014 I was leaving a luncheon with friends and driving home on I5S in Oregon. It was an amazing sunny day in Oregon with light traffic. As I passed under the Tualatin overpass I received a call from my dad. I answered and said hello then I passed out at the wheel. Life came and left me as I was trying to slow. After a few seconds I finally came awake to the situation, I was able to get back to my home in Canby, OR. Not feeling great I went to bed. 2/15/14 I made my kids breakfast and went to take a shower at 9:30 am... I fell to the floor in my closet to die. My kids (daughter 13 & son 12) heard me hit the floor. They came to my rescue... Daughter called 911, son started CPR with my daughters assurance. They gave me enough life to be rescued by the Canby FD. I now have a a defibullator and thanks God and my kids daily for my life. I pray I can assist other 5% ers in their story.....

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Mission & Vision

The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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