Heart Month Preparedness: Know about ‘SCA’

Story by – Bill O'Brien, YKHC ICEMS

February 7, 2013 - 2 minutes read
February is Heart Month!

Raising Awareness About SCA

Do you know what to do when someone goes into Sudden Cardiac Arrest? Do you know what Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is?

What it’s NOT. SCA is NOT a heart attack—It’s worse. A heart attack occurs when blood supply to the heart muscle is blocked, but the heart keeps beating.

What it IS. SCA occurs when the heart’s electrical system goes haywire (ventricular fibrillation) and stops blood flow from the heart.

The Facts

  • SCA strikes suddenly (hence the name). Anyone, anywhere, anytime—even if they appear healthy.
  • SCA strikes about 360,000 people in the US every year. Fewer than 10 percent survive.
  • 80 percent of all SCAs happen at home.
  • 60 percent of all SCAs are witnessed.
  • Loss of blood to the brain starts to cause brain damage in just 4-6 minutes. After 10 minutes, it’s probably too late.

How do I help?

If you perform CPR immediately AND you use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) within a few minutes, you can double or triple the victim’s chances of survival. CPR can delay brain damage for a few minutes, but SCA needs defibrillation to restart a heart.

It’s easy to learn how to use an AED—open the lid or push a button, and a voice provides step-by-step instructions.

CPR and Defibrillation before EMS arrives will help save lives.

Learn to save a life. Take a CPR/AED class.

Contact YKHC Injury Control & EMS Dept. at 543-6085 to sign up for a class.

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