Learn CPR and How to Use an AED During Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

Learn CPR and How to Use an AED During Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation urges the public to learn CPR and how to use an AED.

PITTSBURGH, PA--America is facing a public health crisis. More than 350,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside hospitals each year in the U.S., including 7,000 children. Unfortunately, 90 percent of cases are fatal. According to a report from the Institute of Medicine, cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Why do so few victims survive? For one thing, there often are no warning signs. Sudden, unexpected cardiac arrest frequently is the first symptom of a life-threatening heart condition. For another, while many victims could be revived with CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), the public, in general, does not realize that survival often depends on immediate action by bystanders. Since the chances of survival decrease by 7 to 10 percent with each passing minute after the victim becomes unconscious, it is critical for people who witness the arrest to act quickly and decisively.

Unfortunately, only one-third of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from bystanders and fewer than 10 percent are treated with AEDs before EMS arrives at the scene. Survival rates could increase dramatically, however, if more people knew what to do when cardiac arrest occurs. When bystanders provide CPR, survival rates can double or triple. And when bystanders use AEDs before EMS arrival, survival rates can be as high as 50 percent.

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation urges the public to commit this month to learn CPR and how to use an AED. Anyone can help save a life by following these simple steps:

  1. Recognize the emergency. When someone suddenly collapses and stops breathing normally, he or she is likely experiencing cardiac arrest. It is not unusual for the person to exhibit seizure-like activity. 

  2. Call 9-1-1 and follow dispatcher instructions. Dispatchers 
can assist the untrained caller and remind the CPR-trained caller how to provide CPR.
  3. Start CPR. Press hard and fast on the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 beats per minute (e.g., to the tune of ‘Stayin Alive’ by the BeeGees). 

  4. Use the nearest AED as quickly as possible. AEDs are designed for use by untrained bystanders. Simply turn on the device and follow instructions.

“You can save a life,” said Mary M. Newman, MS, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation president. “We urge everyone to prepare for sudden cardiac emergencies by learning CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator.” And, she added, "Since 70 percent of cardiac arrests occur in the home, it's a great idea to have a personal AED for home and travel.”

Why you should learn CPR

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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Contact Us

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation would like to hear from you! If you have questions or comments — Contact Us!

877-722-8641

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation
7500 Brooktree Road, Suite 207
Wexford, PA 15090

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