Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA usually causes brain injury if it’s not treated within 3 minutes and death if it’s not treated within 5 minutes.

SCA Key Facts & Statistics in Europe

In Europe, around 300,000 people a year die as a result of sudden cardiac arrest. This makes it the No.1 cause of death ahead of cancer and strokes. SCA kills 1,000 people a day or one person every two minutes in Europe, and most often occurs in patients with heart disease, especially those who have congestive heart failure and have had a heart attack.

It is estimated that 95 percent of victims of cardiac arrest die before they reach a hospital or other source of emergency help. This figure could be considerably lower if public facilities and private households were also equipped with an automatic defibrillator.

This allows first aid providers with no prior medical training to use simple hand compressions to become instant lifesavers. Easy access to AEDs in public is essential to constantly prevent people dying of SCA.

Chain of Survival

To increase the chance of successful resuscitation following SCA, requires an integrated set of coordinated, sequential actions represented by a chain of links. This is known as the Chain of Survival.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Chain of Survival Graphic

  1. Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  2. Early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions
  3. Rapid defibrillation
  4. Effective advanced life support
  5. Integrated post—cardiac arrest care

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What is an AED?

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED), is a portable electronic device, that automatically diagnoses the life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of Ventricular Fibrillation (VF), and Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) in a patient who is suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), and is able to treat the patient by delivering an electrical shock to Defibrillate the heart. This is done to try to reestablish an effective rhythm in the heart.

Once the domain of Hospital, and Ambulance settings, AED’s have been simplified for the layman to use in the public arena, therefor increasing chances of survival for victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

Why is an AED needed?

Contrary to what many people believe, in 99% of cases, CPR alone will NOT revive a patient in Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The heart is in an arrhythmia, and needs an electric shock to attempt to return it to a normal rhythm. This is a bit like re booting your computer. Without effective CPR, and defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases by 10% every minute.

Defibrillation and Survival Rate

An AED is still only applied in 5-10% of cases, where a cardiac arrest occurs in public. That means we could save a lot more people if there was a uniform placement of AEDs in all large public buildings and if members of the public consistently learned how to use AEDs and were willing to use them.

AED for Prompt Intervention and Diagnosis
AED Specifications & Features