Do you know what to do if a loved one experiences a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in your presence? It’s one of our worst nightmares but considering it’s the third leading cause of death in America, being prepared just might save their life. Family HealthCare Associates would like to recognize “Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month” by helping our patients learn the steps they must take in those crucial minutes after one occurs. You might think a cardiac arrest is a condition that afflicts older men, but they can happen to anyone (of any age) who may appear completely healthy. With more than 356,000 Americans experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest every year, 90% of victims pass away because they are not treated quickly. That’s why you can’t hesitate, a sudden cardiac arrest will lead to death in minutes if the person doesn’t get immediate help. It’s essential that you call 911 and give CPR to the victim. When that happens, survival rates may double (or even triple). When the EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) arrive, the victim must receive defibrillation from an Automated External Defibrillator in the first four to six minutes after the event. Every second is vital as every minute a victim goes without a shock from an AED decreases his or her chance of survival by ten percent.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest 6 Step Action Plan
Below is an action plan that must occur to maximize the chances of the victim’s survival. Any bystander who witnesses a SCA must step in to help with the first three steps.
Recognize It’s Happening: Has the person’s heart stopped? Are they unresponsive and not breathing?
1. Dial 911: Follow the dispatcher’s instructions.
2. Begin CPR Immediately: Use your CPR training and remember to push hard and fast in the center of the chest.
3. EMTs Must Arrive in 4 to 6 minutes: They will provide advanced life support
4. Restart the Heart: EMTs will use an automated external defibrillator to shock the victim’s heart.
5. Go to the Hospital: Once the victim is in the care of medical professionals, they will continue to administer post-cardiac arrest treatment.
Some recent studies have reported that during the pandemic, sudden cardiac arrests have increased while survival rates have gone down. Now that you know the 6 essential action steps, you can help save someone’s life who desperately needs it. If you are experiencing chest pain, and have a history of heart disease in your family, Family HealthCare Associates encourages you to make an appointment with one of our physicians to discuss heart screening options.