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Cardiac Arrests Facts

Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Leading Cause of Death in North America
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a deadly arrhythmia that can strike people at any time without warning, regardless of their diagnosed heart condition. The most common cause of Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a ventricular fibrillation, uncontrolled contractions of the heart. While in ventricular fibrillation, the heart does not pump oxygenated blood to the vital organs. If normal cardiac rhythm is not restored, death occurs within minutes.

Defibrillation is the method that can, in many cases, restore the normal cardiac rhythm, using a defibrillator. This piece of equipment delivers an electric shock to the heart, stopping the chaotic contractions and restoring the normal rhythm. The early is the defibrillation, the best are chances of survival. Each minute delay in providing the shock reduces the chances of survival by 8 to 10%. In other words, to be effective, the defibrillation shock must be delivered to the victim within the first few minutes of the cardiac arrest. At this time, the early defibrillation is the only known method to restore the normal heart rhythm. The equipment used to deliver the electric shock, in an emergency situation, is called AED - Automated External Defibrillator

Public Access Defibrillation
Having trained responders equipped with AEDs, able to respond in a matter of minutes to a cardiac arrest in public places (parks, casinos, shopping malls etc.), government buildings, office buildings, represents the concept of Public Access Defibrillation. Trained first responders are employees certified in CPR and use of AED. Because the average time for the ambulance to arrive at scene is above 8 minutes, it is clear that the first responders, with a response time of about half of this duration, could play a critical role in delivering the life saving defibrillation shock.





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