The only effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest, SCA, is as soon as possible to restore the heart’s normal rhythm by using an automated external defibrillator, or AED, to deliver a shock to the heart. For every minute that passes without treatment, a person’s chance of surviving drops by 7% to 10%.
People who happen to be in the area during the event play a critical role in saving lives. Their action can mean the difference between life and death.
People who survive an SCA need advanced emergency and cardiac care. Doctors will use basic cardiac testing to identify the cause of SCA, and adjust treatment.
For some patients, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) placed under the skin may be needed. ICDs can detect an abnormal rhythm and send low shocks to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat.