CPR, AED & Sudden Cardiac Arrest Fact Sheet
American Heart Association
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
* Cardiac arrests are more common than you think, and they can happen to anyone at any time.
* Nearly 383,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home.
* Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.
* Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.
* Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.
* A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.
* In 2008, Congress passed a resolution to name October as National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month to bring nationwide attention to this leading cause of death among Americans.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
* The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be a loved one.
* Four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home.
* Statistically speaking, if called on to administer CPR in an
emergency, the life you save is likely to be someone at home:
a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.
* African-Americans are almost twice as likely to experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in another public location than Caucasians, and their survival rates are twice as poor as for Caucasians.
* Less than one-third of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR.
* Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victims chance of survival.
* The American Heart Association trains more than 12 million people in CPR annually, including healthcare professionals and the general public.
* The most effective rate for chest compressions is 100 compressions per minute, the same rhythm as the beat of the BeeGee's song, Stayin Alive.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
* Unless CPR and defibrillation are provided within minutes of collapse, few attempts at resuscitation are successful.
* For every minute that passes between collapse and defibrillation, survival rates decrease 7 to 10% if no help is provided.
* Even if CPR is performed, defibrillation with an AED is required to stop the abnormal rhythm and restore a normal heart rhythm.
* New technology has made AEDs simple and user-friendly. Clear audio and visual cues tell users what to do when using an AED and coach people through CPR. A shock is delivered only if the victim needs it.
* AEDs are now widely available in public places such as schools, airports and workplaces.
* Having an AED onsite increases a victim's change of survival by 49-75%.
* About 5,800 children 18 years old and under suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year from all causes including trauma, cardiovascular causes and sudden infant death syndrome.
* The incidence of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in high school athletes ranges from .28 to 1 death per 100,000 high school athletes annually in the U.S.
* The American Heart Association does not have a minimum age requirement for people to learn CPR. The ability to perform CPR is based more on body strength rather than age.
* Studies have shown that children as young as 9 years old can learn and retain CPR skills.
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