What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the condition in which the heart unexpectedly ceases to function.

Often, this is because of irregular and rapid quivering of the heart’s lower pumping chambers (ventricles) called ventricular fibrillation. When this occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs, causing loss of consciousness or seizure-like activity within seconds.

If not treated within minutes, SCA results in death. The normal rhythm of the heart can only be restored with defibrillation, an electrical shock that is safely delivered to the chest by an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is frequently the outcome of an underlying heart condition. It can also occur secondary to other conditions such as impact to the chest, heat stroke, asthma, drowning, electrocution, allergic reaction, or medication.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is indiscriminate as to age, race or gender and kills over 300,000 Americans each year. Victims of SCA may never experience any warning signs.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is Not a Heart Attack.  

A heart attack (myocardial infarction) is when a blockage in a blood vessel interrupts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart causing the heart muscle to die. With a heart attack, the heart usually does not suddenly stop beating. A heart attack can lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

What is the best way to treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Early Recognition of SCA
Early 9-1-1 access
Early CPR
Early Defibrillation
Early Advanced Care

For more information regarding the causes of SCA and how to prevent it, please visit www.parentheartwatch.org