Written by Jeremy M. Albert
October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month, dedicated to raising awareness about sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) continues to be a public health risk and contributes to being one of the leading causes of death in the United States and globally. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur annually. Further, only 10% of those who suffer from an OHCA will survive to be discharged from the hospital. When an SCA occurs, swift and timely intervention is critical to increasing the victim’s survivability, and that often leaves the person who witnessed the event to act promptly. Becoming trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid can help save lives by training non-medical personnel to recognize and act during an SCA medical emergency; training is offered through organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. Beyond these organizations, local emergency medical service agencies and fire departments often host CPR classes open to the public.
If you witness a SCA, act quickly! Call 911, start compressions (at a rate of 100-120 a minute, or the beat of “Baby Shark”), and use an AED if available. Taking immediate action can improve a victim’s chances of survival. You can find more information on becoming trained in CPR with the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association by visiting their websites.
Jeremy M Albert, NRP
Jeremy is a current senior in the Healthcare Management program at Carlow University, and a nationally registered Paramedic in the Pittsburgh region.
Categories: Health & Wellness