About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the leading cause of death in USA and Europe, is the condition in which the heart is no longer able to pump blood to the brain and other organs, because of an electrical problem resulting in a fatal arrhythmia in the heart. Most of the time, heart becomes chaotic (ventricular fibrillation, VF) or rapid (ventricular tachycardia, VT). When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and the rest of the body, and the person collapses. In fact, the victim is clinically dead and will remain so unless someone helps immediately. When someone collapses from SCA, immediate defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are essential for any chance of recovery.

SCA is treatable most of the time, especially when it is due to an electrical abnormality called ventricular fibrillation (VF). Immediate treatment includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation. This treatment must be provided immediately to be effective, preferably within three to five minutes. Even the fastest emergency medical services may not be able to reach a victim this quickly. That is why prompt action by bystanders is so critical and why it is so important that more laypersons learn CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

What Causes SCA?

SCA may be caused by certain incidents like:

  • Respiratory Arrest
  • Drowning
  • Trauma
  • Electric Shock
  • Stress
  • Drugs
  • Sudden Emotional Changes
  • Excessive Physical Activity
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