Chances of Survival:
Under 6% - If nothing is done prior to EMS arrival.
24%-56% - If bystander CPR is started and an AED is used prior to EMS arrival.
The first thing to understand is that a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is NOT the same thing as a Heart Attack. A Heart Attack is more of a plumbing issue and the victim is usually conscious, alert to some extent, and experiencing physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, arm pain, back pain, jaw pain, etc...
When we are talking about a SCA, we refer to that as an electrical issue where the heart rhythm malfunctions and becomes chaotic and the heart is unable to pump blood. With a SCA, a victim becomes unconscious within a matter of seconds and with little to no symptoms prior to collapse. Once they collapse, the victim is not breathing and not responding - pretty much lifeless. This is when the clock really starts ticking...
The only thing that can drastically increase the survival chances of a SCA victim is high-quality bystander CPR and a shock(s) from an AED.
How long does a SCA victim have?
A victim of SCA has 10 or less minutes to survive without bystander intervention. Every minute that goes by, the victim's survival chances decrease by 10%. In many cases, doing nothing and waiting for EMS to show up is already too late.
Is CPR hard to learn?
No! Learning CPR is not hard at all and you can even learn hands-only CPR (that doesn't require delivering breaths) in under 10 minute!
Early intervention of performing CPR and using an AED...SAVES LIVES!
In honor of National CPR and AED Awareness Week, take the initiative to learn more about how you can learn CPR and find a local class in your area!
For CPR classes in the Pittsburgh Area, click here.