Because most cases of sudden cardiac arrest, SCA, occur in people who have had a heart attack,
or who have hearts with lowered ability to pump blood (called a low ejection fraction) or heart failure, health care teams can take steps to prevent a repeat event.
It is critical that people who survive sudden cardiac arrest follow their treatment plan.
Otherwise, the best approach is to live a healthy lifestyle by:
- Eating a diet low in saturated and trans fats, and high in soluble fiber and fruits and vegetables
- Exercising regularly
- Getting to a healthy weight and keeping it
- Managing stress
- Quitting smoking
What Else Can You Do?
Know how to respond if someone is in sudden cardiac arrest. Survival rates could double or triple if more people take action and know what to do, according to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.
- Know the warning signs of an SCA.
- Act fast. Chance of survival goes down for every minute treatment is delayed. Don’t waste time debating whether it’s SCA.
- Take a CPR class or brush up on your skills if you’ve taken one.
- Learn how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), and where they can be found.
Keep in mind:
- AEDs are not in all places. Do not delay CPR or calling 911 if an AED is not available.
- AEDs at home don’t seem to affect survival. This could be because many who have an SCA at home are alone.