October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. But, what is a cardiac arrest? A sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is when the heart suddenly stops beating, or beats irregularly, resulting in no blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. SCA is a leading cause of death in the United States.
Time is of the essence.
For every minute that passes without CPR, the chances of survival decrease by 7-10 percent. Unfortunately, since roughly 88% of SCAs occur at home, only one in four victims receive CPR from a bystander. However, we can all do something to prevent SCA deaths. When ordinary people, not just doctors and EMTs, are equipped with the skills to perform CPR, the survival rate can double, or even triple.
What can you do?
First, learn CPR. The American Heart Association offers a variety of classes, including an at home CPR Anytime kit. Visit our CPR website.
In twelve states, there is now a requirement for all students to be trained in CPR before graduation from high school, including Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and most recently Texas. To learn more about CPR as a graduation requirement, please visit http://becprsmart.org/. Also, have you or someone you know been saved by CPR? If so, please take the time to share your story with us.