Quick question: How can we save as many as 50,000 lives every year?
The answer: An increased understanding of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), treatment with CPR and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
The location of where we actually can perform a lot more of that kind of life-saving is sure to surprise you. Because SCA is often the first indication of a heart problem, it almost never occurs in a hospital. In fact, over 65% of all instances of SCA happen at home. While most know the importance of dialing 9-1-1, very few understand the importance of treating SCA – and more importantly, how to do so.
So let’s provide a primer on SCA and why you need an AED for the home to treat it as soon as possible when it occurs.
What is SCA?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening emergency in which the heart unexpectedly stops beating. SCA affects people of all ages, including teens and children – many of whom have never experienced heart issues previously.
SCA impacts more than 326,000 people every year. The third leading cause of death in the United States, only approximately 10% survive.
In instances of SCA, the affected person collapses, becomes unresponsive and is unable to breathe normally.
Unlike a heart attack, where the person remains awake and their heart is beating, a victim of SCA is not awake and their heart is not beating.
Sadly, only one-third of SCA victims receive CPR, and less than 5% are treated with an automated external defibrillator (AED). For each minute that passes, the victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7% to 10%. However, if a shock from an AED is administered within the first two minutes, SCA victims have a 90% chance of survival.
When it comes to SCA, waiting for help to arrive simply doesn’t cut it. We have to demand better education and resources for when disaster strikes – especially at home.
What is an AED and why do I need one?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that uses electric currents to shock the heart back into rhythm following an emergency, such as SCA. You’ve likely seen an AED at the office, gym, school or a long list of other public places. But with most SCA happening at home and the increased chance of survival if immediately treated with an AED, why wouldn’t you keep one in your home?
You don’t need to be a medical professional to use an AED. Most AEDs, like the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator, are designed with ease-of-use to be top of mind.
During an emergency, the user simply follows the audio and visual prompts to treat the victim. Doing this and performing CPR in the time it takes first responders to arrive could literally be the difference of life and death.
Unfortunately, due largely to a lack of awareness, SCA affects nearly 1,000 people every day – and many victims have shown no prior signs of heart disease. Like a smoke detector or fire extinguisher, while you hope you never need it, having an AED in the home could save a life in a heart emergency.
Talk to one of our safety consultants at SOS Technologies today about installing an in-home AED such as the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator. Call 888.705.6100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s A Matter Of Life And Life.