The Challenge - Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating and a electric shock is needed to restart the heart.  If not, death will occur within minutes of someone having SCA.  It is our nation’s leading cause of death affecting an estimated 325,000 Americans every year and more than 92% will not survive.

Causes of SCA:

SCA can happen to anyone, anywhere at anytime. It often occurs in active, healthy people with no known heart or health problems. From world-class athletes to school aged children, SCA does not discriminate.

Conditions that could potentially lead to an arrest:

Typical SCA Risk Factors:

  • High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Obesity, Smoking and High Cholesterol
  • Non-Cardiac Conditions: Drug/Alcohol Overdose, Choking, Drowning, Trauma, Hypothermia or Direct Hit to the Chest And much much more.

SCA Identification

Someone experiencing a Sudden Cardiac Arrest will:

  • Suddenly collapse
  • Not be breathing
  • Possibly gasp for air

How to Help Someone with SCA

Prevention: (or Preventing Death)

A person’s chance of survival decreases by 10% with every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation.

The most important determinant of survival is the presence of a trained rescuer willing to immediately call 911, perform CPR and use an Defibrillator (DEFIB) in the first minutes of a collapse. When you see someone suddenly collapse or not breathing, immediately:


  • CALL: Dispatch medical assistance by calling 9-1-1
  • PUSH: Perform hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • SHOCK: Locate and use an automated external defibrillator.

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