Every Parent Should Know This Lifesaving Skill

If your child’s heart stops, would you know what to do?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening condition in which the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart can no longer pump oxygen-rich blood to the brain and vital organs. SCA can happen to children as well as adults.

There are many causes, including underlying heart disease, a blow to the chest, asthma, drowning, electrocution, diabetes and allergic reaction.

When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, every second counts. Knowing how and when to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) can make all the difference.

When CPR and an AED are used within the first three to five minutes of collapse, it can triple the chance of survival. CPR pumps oxygen-rich blood to the brain and major organs to sustain life; an AED can deliver a lifesaving shock to the heart and get it beating effectively again. 

Facts About Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

SCA is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. It claims the lives of 359,400 Americans each year – including as many as 7,000 children. SCA is the No. 1 cause of death in young athletes. Every three days, a competitive student athlete suffers a sudden cardiac arrest without warning.

National primary and secondary prevention programs are in place to save more young lives from SCA. Primary prevention consists of screening young athletes prior to sports participation to detect pre-existing conditions that may lead to SCA. Secondary prevention includes widespread heart health awareness and CPR / AED training.