Do you know that you can save someone’s life in sudden cardiac arrest?
Yes, you can! You only need two hands to save a life.
What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?
- the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating and pumping blood effectively
- it often happens away from a hospital
- it can happen anywhere, anytime and at any age
- it usually happens after a heart attack, but also can happen due to an abnormal rhythm of the heart, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, injury, severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), drowning and electrocution
Is it the same as a heart attack?
A lot of people think that a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest is the same. But they are not. Still, a heart attack or a myocardial infarction can very often lead to a sudden cardiac arrest.
Sudden cardiac arrest - as explained earlier, it is an electrical problem of the heart which can cause the heart to stop suddenly and unexpectedly.
Heart attack - a blood vessel feeding the heart gets blocked and the heart muscle fed by that vessel starts to die. The pain due to a heart attack can be very intense and sudden, although pain may start slowly and continue for hours, days and weeks before a heart attack.
What is the incidence of SCA?
- It accounts for about 15% of all deaths in the Western world
- More than 356,000 people suffer sudden out of hospital cardiac arrest in US and nearly 90% of them are fatal
- More than 356,000 people are affected in Europe
- We do not have data in Sri Lanka yet
- Nearly 2000 people die daily in the world due to sudden out of hospital cardiac arrest
- The chances of surviving are only about one in ten globally
What do you know about your heart?
- It is the organ which supplies oxygen, glucose and other nutrients to all organs in the body
- Human body consists of over 200 Trillian cells which work together for our survival
- The heart is a strong muscular pump
- It only weighs between 200-425 g and is little larger than your fist
- It beats about 100,000 times a day and more than 2.5 billion times if you live for about 72 years
- It pumps about 7,200 liters of blood per day
What happens in SCA?
- as blood is not pumped the cells start to die
- brain cells are extremely sensitive to lack of oxygen starts to die after 3 minutes due to lack of oxygen
- an ambulance takes at least 10 minutes to arrive
- chances of survival drop by 7-10% each minute
This means you have no chance of surviving if your heart suddenly stops, unless someone nearby offers help.
YOU CAN DOUBLE OR TRIPLE THE CHANCES OF SURVIVAL IF YOU START Bystander Cardio pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) UNTIL AN AMBULANCE ARRIVES
What is Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)?
- is a vital emergency intervention to save a victim of sudden out of hospital cardiac arrest that has to be done by a person nearby (bystander)
- comprises of a few simple steps that can help save a person’s life