February 14, 2013

Sudden Cardiac Arrest 101

We’ve talked a lot in the blog about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Today I wanted to remind all our readers what exactly SCA is, how it happens, and how immediate CPR is a critical first step towards a successful outcome.

Check out this video clip from our programs for a quick tutorial on this killer heart condition.

For our blog readers who aren’t emergency care instructors, here’s the scoop: Sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, can occur without warning to anyone, at any time. It is one of the leading causes of death among adults in the United States.

Sudden cardiac arrest happens when the normal electrical impulses in the heart unexpectedly become disorganized. The normally coordinated mechanical contraction of the heart muscle is lost, and a chaotic, quivering condition known as ventricular fibrillation can occur. 

Blood flow to the brain and body abruptly stops. The lack of blood and oxygen to the brain causes the person to quickly lose consciousness, collapse, and stop breathing.

Brain tissue is especially sensitive to a lack of oxygen. When oxygen is cut off, brain death can occur quickly, within a matter of minutes. Without early recognition and care from a bystander, the person will not survive.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, allows a bystander to restore some oxygen to the brain through a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. 

Need to take a class on CPR, AED, and first aid? Click here for a class near you

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For our instructors and training center directors: You are welcome to add a link ( or the embed link is available below) to today’s video to your website to help educate your site visitors about the “what, why, and how” of SCA and CPR.

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