Sudden Cardiac Arrest
America's number one Killer
A key factor in helping to reduce the number of deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest is through awareness. Jefferson Hills EMS remains committed to educating our community about the impact of sudden cardiac arrest by increasing awareness and prevention initiatives of this deadly disease.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the U.S. - killing more than 350,000 Americans each year. It is ruthless, silent, deadly and effective. So effective, in fact, that 92- 95% of its victims die. SCA is the abrupt loss of heart function, usually resulting from an irregular heart rhythm.
Nationally, only 8% of those who suffer SCA survive - a rate that hasn’t changed significantly in 30 years.
Survival rates vary from 1%-50%, depending on where you live in the country, in PA that number is 10%.
SCA is a treatable disease. Improving survival requires coordinated community response by the general public, first responders, EMS services and in-hospital care givers.
Success begins with public bystanders. Communities with higher bystander CPR participation have higher SCA survival rates.
Immediate bystander CPR doubles or triples the chance of survival.
80% of SCA events occur in the home.
The differences between sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke are commonly misunderstood by the general public. Each of these medical conditions is extremely life threatening and affect parts of the body in different ways. Jefferson Hills EMS offers the following useful information to provide clarity and prevention methods you can follow to help keep you from becoming one of the victims of sudden cardiac arrest:
Sudden Cardiac Arrest: When the heart no longer functions due to an abrupt loss of a heartbeat or rhythm preventing the flow of blood to the rest of your body.
Heart Attack: When blood flow to the heart is reduced or stopped because of blockage in the arteries preventing oxygen to the heart muscle.
Stroke: When blood flow to the brain is reduced or stopped preventing oxygen to the brain.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Usually occurs suddenly and without warning. The symptoms are lacking of responsiveness, pulse and breathing.
Heart Attack: Chest pains, discomfort in other areas of the body, lightheadedness and cold sweats.
Women are also likely to experience other symptoms when having a heart attack such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, indigestion and back or jaw pain.
The risk factors and prevention methods for these three medical conditions all tie back to heart disease. Some risk factors such as gender, age, family history, and race are uncontrollable and therefore have no known prevention methods.
Still, the following preventative measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of one of these life threatening conditions:
Get regular health screenings
Eat a healthy diet
Maintain a healthy weight
Helpful links for additional information.