Health & Safety Institute Blog

March 11, 2014

Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Statistics — Focusing on Young People

Heart diseaseThe Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2014 Update provides a snapshot of just how serious and widespread sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is. According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation:

“The 2014 update suggests that more than 1,000 people suffer non-traumatic cardiac arrest outside hospitals—including about 26 children—each day in the U.S. Overall survival rates are approximately 10 percent. Among young victims, the survival rate is about five percent.”

While all SCA fatalities motivate us to do everything we can to get more and more people trained in CPR, we’re especially moved by the SCA statistics for young people. Again, from the Foundation:

“Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: Youth


  • Each year, an estimated 9,500 children (<18 years old) experience EMS-assessed non-traumatic OHCA in the U.S., and of these, 7,700 children are treated by EMS.
  • Among older athletes (17-24 years old), the incidence of non-traumatic OHCA tends to be higher among blacks compared with whites, and among males compared with females.


  • Survival to hospital discharge after EMS-treated non-traumatic cardiac arrest among youth (<18 years old) is 5.4 percent. There are an estimated 7,000 fatalities in children each year.
  • Of cardiovascular deaths that occurred in young athletes (<18 years old), 29 percent occurred in blacks, 54 percent in high school students, and 82 percent with physical exertion during competition or training.”

We’ve talked in this blog before about how important it is for youth sports coaches and physical education teachers to be prepared to respond to a student experiencing SCA. If you are a coach or someone who works with children and are considering getting yourself trained in CPR, let these blog posts inspire you to take that lifesaving step:

Having your students trained to respond can also save the day for an SCA victim, sometimes even for their own peers on the playing field:

  • Denmark: A CPR Success Story
    Denmark implemented a CPR training program at the elementary school level. Check out the article to learn about their outstanding success.

We all know what great learners kids can be, but we still need to keep them interested and focused in the classroom. Our LOOP CPR skills game can do just that, as you’ll discover in this blog post:

Both ASHI and MEDIC First Aid have CPR, AED, and first aid training programs that cover how to respond to children in an emergency situation. For our emergency care instructor readers, if you aren’t already offering pediatric emergency care through your training center, give our programs a look. As you know, responding to children is not the same as responding to adults, and these programs will help make it easy for your students to confidently respond in a pediatric emergency: 

And for everyone: if you’re looking to take that CPR training for yourself, click on the button below to find a class near you.

 Find A Class, ASHI, MEDIC First Aid




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