A Matter of When

Author - Joe Durkin

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is not a matter of whether you will witness or experience sudden cardiac arrest...it is a matter of when. Almost all of us will be touched by this tragedy at some point in our lives.

When a loved one experiences sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), will you call 9-1-1 and wait for rescue to arrive? If this is your plan, you may want to re-think it and here is why: For each minute that passes after onset of SCA, the survival rate drops by 10%. After only 8 minutes, damage to the brain is imminent. You will be hard pressed to find emergency medical services who will arrive within 8 minutes to administer defibrillation.

If your strategy is to wait for rescue, it is a good idea to make a simple change. Get an AED and learn how to use it. They are very simple machines. Learn hands-only CPR and stay up to date on changes to the process by getting certified. Be ready to save someone. When you are out in public areas, or at work, look for the AED or carry yours wherever you go because they are lightweight and portable.