- SCA is the #1 killer of student athletes
- SCA #2 killer of people under 25
- 1 student athlete dies every 3 days due to SCA
- Between 5,000-7,000 youth die annually from SCA
- 1 in 100 youth are at risk for a heart abnormality they weren’t previously aware of
- Only ⅓ of SCA victims receive bystander CPR
- Only 2% of SCA victims are treated with AED’s by bystanders
- Between 2004-2008 only 56% of Sudden Cardiac Death cases were reported by the media
Unlike a heart attack, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is caused by an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system that abruptly stops the heart from beating. These malfunctions within the heart’s electrical system cause irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias.
Two of the most frequent types of arrhythmias include ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF), which cause electrical impulses to fire rapidly. Subsequently, this leads to the heart’s inability to pump blood and the occurrence of SCA.
SCA can occur without any visible warning signs or symptoms. The first symptom could be death. Even when symptoms do present themselves, they often go unnoticed due to lack of awareness and education concerning SCA. An American Pediatrics study revealed that 70% of parents with children who have experienced SCA say that there were symptoms in retrospect; they just didn’t recognize them as life threatening. When an incident related to SCA occurs, it is proven fatal in 92% of individuals unless they receive proper immediate emergency medical treatment. CPR and defibrillation via AED are the only life saving techniques once SCA strikes. For every minute that passes without defibrillation, a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 10%. It takes an EMS team in the U.S. an average of 6-12 minutes to arrive at the scene of an emergency. Consequently, CPR/AED certification is crucial in order to maximize the number of lives saved.
Fortunately, AEDs are intuitive in design allowing them to be used by all. Through voice prompts, an AED takes one through the entire rescue and gives clear, concise instructions. Many AEDs on the market offer fully automatic options, in which it is not necessary for the rescuer to even push a shock button. Numerous studies have revealed that AEDs are simple enough for anyone to operate, including children as young as 7 years old.