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Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Are You Prepared For An Emergency?

Feb. 14, 2012

There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding sudden cardiac arrest. While public awareness for heart disease in the United States has increased dramatically, heart rhythm disorders,
including Sudden Cardiac Arrest, are still greatly misunderstood. Frequently, the term “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” is confused with a “massive heart attack.”

In recognition of American Heart Month, we share the facts surrounding sudden cardiac arrest, which are startling:

• Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is America’s number one killer, taking the lives of more than 450,000 adults and 7,000 children annually (more than AIDS, lung cancer breast cancer and traffic accidents combined).

• Early defibrillation through the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) combined with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the only effective treatment for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. CPR alone cannot and will not restore the SCA victim’s natural heart rhythm – only an electrical shock delivered by a heart defibrillator can do that.

• Statistics show that 74% of SCA victims who are provided early defibrillation (using an AED) within the first 3 to 5 minutes of the event can be saved, as compared to an approximate 5% survival rate without early defibrillation.

• Without early defibrillation within the first 5 minutes after an SCA event, an estimated 10% loss of the victim’s brain function (due to oxygen depletion) occurs every additional minute that lapses.

• Trained responders (police, fire, ambulance) typically respond within 6 to 12 minutes of a 911 emergency call, often arriving too late to save the life of the SCA victim.

• The Cardiac Arrest Survival Act (CASA) enacted by the federal government in 2000 and Good Samaritan laws now enacted in all 50 states provide individuals and corporations with legal liability immunity for any harm resulting from the use or attempted use of an AED when attempting to save the life of an SCA victim.

AED’s should be as prevalent as fire extinguishers, but sadly they are not. They are reliable, easy to use, and effective. The peace of mind derived from the investment in an AED and cardiac emergency plan is priceless.

There is a local Whitefish Bay distributor, David Rusch, who represents the AED industry-leading manufacturers, as well as offers certified CPR/AED training through the American Safety & Health Institute. His service includes the sale and complete support to Wisconsin businesses, schools, churches, and facilities that would benefit from the installation of an AED. To learn more and to schedule a demonstration, you can reach David Rusch, call (414) 418-7760 or at

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