Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) happens when there is an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes the heart to stop beating or go into an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). As the heart goes into an irregular beat the blood supply to the body and vital organs is disrupted causing the patient to quickly lose consciousness and collapse, unfortunately if not treated, death can occur within minutes. While CPR is absolutely essential in cardiac arrest the only proven clinical way to restart the heart is with a defibrillator.
Research has shown that survival rates from SCA drop approximately 10% for every minute post SCA so it is crucial that victims receive CPR and defibrillation as soon as possible within the first 10 minutes. While our ambulance services do a fantastic job they just can’t physically be everywhere in the event of an SCA. With published average response times for ambulances well over 10 minutes having a defibrillator close by is the only way you can be ready to save a life. Organisations, businesses and community groups can’t have a first aid program that solely relies on calling 000 and waiting for help.
With over 30,000 outside of hospital SCA deaths every year, SCA is the leading cause of death in Australia.
Promptness of care can mean the difference between life and death.