10 Facts About Cardiac Arrest Many People Don’t Know About

The terms heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest are often used interchangeably, but they don’t refer to the same thing. The first one is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, while the latter is when the heart stops beating suddenly.  Here are ten facts about cardiac arrest that many people are not familiar with:

  • Heart attack and cardiac arrest are two different things

As discussed above, these are two different occurrences.  A heart attack is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the heart, while in cardiac arrest is no blood is moving as the heart is not beating.

  • Cardiac arrest is fatal 95% of the time

About 95% of people with this condition will die. Statistics show that more there are over 450,000 people suffer from it annually, meaning that 427,500 individuals will die.

  • Emergency response times are 6-12 minutes

Most people stay conscious in myocardial infarction, but when a SCA happens, the person passes out as the brain isn’t getting proper oxygen.  The average response time is 6-12 minutes, but the treatment must start in 4 minutes to increase the chances of surviving. Unfortunately, most people don’t have medical equipment or simply don’t know CPR. When 911 arrives, it could be too late.

  • Using a defibrillator only mildly increases the chance of survival

CPR and use of defibrillator are the most effective ways to restart the heart, but it works only 10% of the time.  As discussed in the very beginning, about 90% will not come back from these occurrences.

  • SCA is the biggest killer in the U.S

SCA is undoubtedly the biggest killer in the United States. It kills more people than anything else, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and AIDS!

  • Heart disease is the major cause of cardiac arrest

Abnormal heart rhythms and arrhythmia are the two most common causes of SCA.   Due to the unpredictable nature of ventricular fibrillation, the lower chambers of the heart fire and cause the heart to stop beating.

  • Those that play sports are at an increased risk for SCA

People who play sports are at an increased risk for SCA compared to those who don’t engage in contact sports.  According to statistics, males around the age of 15 are at the highest risk.

  • Most cardiac arrests happen at home

Around 75% of cardiac arrest episodes happen at home!

  • CPR was invented to help with cardiac arrest and similar emergencies

What we know as CPR was invented in 1956 by James Elm and Dr. Peter Safar. While idea of putting your mouth over someone else`s mouth may seem odd, this routine has saved numerous people suffering from SCA and similar emergencies.

  • Cardiac arrest can happen at any age

Despite the popular belief that SCA occurs in elderly individuals, the truth is that it can occur at any time in a person`s life.  In fact, even a baby can die as a result of SCA.