Posted on 02/20/2007

PITTSBURGH, February 20, 2007 – The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, a national nonprofit information clearinghouse dedicated to reducing death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), has announced formation of the SCA Survivor Registry™. By collecting information such as the location of arrest, types of intervention and outcomes, the SCA Foundation hopes to identify variables and trends related to SCA survival and return to pre-arrest levels of functioning. In addition, survivors who opt to join the registry can indicate their interest in participating in survey research and efforts to increase public awareness, such as media interviews and community outreach.

“The purpose of the registry is to identify people who have survived sudden cardiac arrest and who would like to help others survive,” said Mary Newman, executive director of the SCA Foundation.

SCA is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating effectively, often due to a disturbance in the heart’s electrical system. On average, about 1 out of 15 people who suffer SCA survive. To survive, a victim must receive effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and treatment with a defibrillator within minutes of collapse. Research shows that survival depends more upon how quickly care is rendered, than whether the caregiver was a lay bystander or a healthcare professional.

Edward M. Racht, MD, medical director for the City of Austin/Travis County (Texas) Emergency Medical System and leader of Take Heart Austin, encouraged Austin area survivors to join the SCA Survivor Registry™ at a survivor reunion held on Valentine’s Day in Austin. “The more we can work together on this important public health issue, the greater the chance that more lives will be saved,” said Racht, who serves on the SCA Foundation Board of Directors.

SCA survivors interested in participating in the SCA Survivor Registry™ are invited to contact the SCA Foundation at info [at] or call 877-722-3475 (toll free) or 724-625-0025. Participation in the registry is free.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40 in the United States and other countries. In the United States alone, approximately 250,000 people die every year from SCA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, more people die each year from SCA than the number who die from colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, auto accidents, AIDS, firearms, and house fires combined. SCA also affects many young people. Approximately 10 percent of SCA events occur among people less than 40 years of age. On average, only one out of 15 of SCA victims survives.

About Take Heart Austin

Take Heart Austin is part of a new program, Take Heart America (, which aims to increase survival from sudden cardiac arrest in three locations—Austin; Columbus, Ohio; and St. Cloud, Minn. Take Heart America brings together a wide variety of approaches that have been shown to help increase survival—from training people in CPR and use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to working with doctors, paramedics and hospital personnel on advanced resuscitation techniques and post-resuscitation care, including cooling to prevent brain damage.