Sudden Cardiac Arrest claims the life of a person every two minutes, and yet most people don’t understand the difference between sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack. Mortality rates for patients who suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) outside of the hospital or emergency center are estimated to be as high as 90%. For this reason, the staff of Altus Emergency Centers joins the nationwide efforts to raise the public’s attention to this deadly condition. This National Cardiac Arrest Month, we hope to teach our communities so that together, we can help save more lives!
9 out of 10 of victims who suffer an OHCA don’t survive.
SCA is the third leading cause of death in the US.
More than 65% of Americans not only underestimate the seriousness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) but in fact believe it is a type of heart attack.
The Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest
The best way to describe a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) in non-medical terms is to describe it as a plumbing issue. A heart attack occurs when the heart’s blood supply is blocked or reduced causing parts of the heart muscle to become injured or die.
During a heart attack the victim is conscious and the heart continues to beat, patients may complain of one or more of the following symptoms:
Chest pain or discomfort.
Shortness of breath.
Pain or discomfort in the one or both upper extremities, with the pain spreading to the shoulder, upper back, neck, or jaw.
Nausea, sweating or lightheadedness.
A sense of anxiety.
In contrast, sudden cardiac arrest is best described as an electrical problem that prevents the heart from functioning adequately and causes it to suddenly stop beating. As a result, the victim will lose consciousness and appear lifeless, in some cases, there can be abnormal gasping which can last a few minutes, or seizures during the first 10 to 20 seconds after collapsing. These immediate telltale signs of alert are triggered as the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen.
How Can You Help Us Save More Lives?
When it comes to sudden cardiac arrest time is critical, if the victim does not receive the immediate help they will die within minutes. Here is what you can do to:
As soon as you notice someone losing consciousness, call 911.
Check for vital signs (pulse, breathing), if you don’t find any, immediately start CPR, don’t wait for the paramedics to arrive.
If available, use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
While it is best to be trained in CPR and the use of an AED, any person can provide lifesaving care by applying rapid compressions to the middle of the victim’s chest. Aim for 100 beats per minute with minimal interventions, try humming the Bee Gee’s hit “Staying Alive” to get the right rhythm, if you have an AED at hand follow its directions.
Don’t hesitate to provide what lifesaving care you can, the worst thing you can do is to do nothing while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. Sudden cardiac arrest victims can survive if they receive immediate CPR and are promptly treated with AED’s, but it needs to be done within 3 to 5 minutes after collapsing.
Once the paramedics arrive and stabilize the patient, instruct them to transport the victim to the nearest Altus Emergency Center where there is no wait time and the patient will receive immediate care significantly improving their chances of survival.
Nearly 1 in 3 Victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survive when the episode is Witnessed by a Bystander.
The staff of Altus Emergency Centers is committed to saving as many lives as possible. We are committed to education, prevention and awareness to help reduce the loss of lives as a result of out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and sudden cardiac arrest. We encourage you to spread this valuable information with others as the next life that could be saved is yours.
Our Doctors and Nurses Are Here for You
We Are Just Around the Corner When You Need ER Help
At Altus Emergency Centers, we are proud to be a part of our Texas communities. We believe that together, we can help build a happier, safer and healthier Texas!
Should you or someone you know require immediate ER care, it is never the time to wait in line for hours or drive long distances. Give yourself the best possibility to get well. If you or someone you know need emergency medical assistence, visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency.
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