Facts on Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Every year in the U.S., around 350,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrest. 90% of them turn fatal, but what is sudden cardiac arrest? Many people believe that cardiac arrest and heart attacks go hand-in-hand, or are the same condition; however, they are two different things. Heart attacks occur when blood flow to the hearts is interrupted, whereas sudden cardiac arrest takes place when the heart’s electrical currents are disrupted and the heart suddenly stops beating.

Below you will find some eye-opening statistics that further explain sudden cardiac arrests.

  1. Out of all the middle aged adults treated for sudden cardiac arrests, around 50% of them experienced no symptoms beforehand.
  2. Every year, 475,000 Americans experience fatal cardiac arrest.
  3. When out-of-hospital cardiac arrest occurs, and a bystander performs CPR, 45% of patients survive.
  4. Around 7,000 of the sudden cardiac arrest cases last year occured in children,
  5. Statistically, most sudden cardiac arrests took place when the patients were in their own home.
  6. People being trained in CPR and stepping in to perform CPR on a sudden cardiac patient is oftentimes the difference between life and death in victims of the condition.
  7. Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes.

There can be different indicators one may experience that may be a warning from their body that they are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. These may include: pain or discomfort in one’s chest, nausea, lightheadedness, vomiting, jaw, neck, or back pain, pain in your arm or shoulder, or shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these, it may be signs of heart complications.

Additionally, one can undergo a heart screening to better investigate whether they have any underlying heart conditions that could cause complications in the future.

-Bri Loughridge, Intern at Alexander’s Hope