Fast response increases cardiac arrest survivalUser-friendly defibrillators and can help save a life when administered immediately after the attack. The urgency is based on the fact that cardiac arrest is capable of killing a person in eight minutes or less.

Abrupt cardiac arrests that cause death are a common problem in almost every country across the world. The surprising fact is that most of these deaths are preventable to some extent. Quick administration of CPR or use of AED can for example help in saving such lives.

The heart is often unable to pump blood to other parts of the body during an attack since its motions are irregular. A person will lose consciousness as a result and die within eight minutes if no treatment is given. Death is caused by lack of oxygenated blood flow to some of the organs in the body such as the brain. Defibrillation is one of the best ways to treat attacks and consists of shocking the heart to stimulate it and help it pump normally. A lot of people who are trained in CPR also know how to use AEDs.

Poor preparation often puts lives at risk

Two cardiologists from Royal free hospital which is based in London, Dr. Roby Rakhit and Aseem Malhotra, studied the rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest experienced in the United Kingdom.

Their main purpose was to establish the level of public awareness among the people. They estimated that there were about 60,000 heart attacks experienced annually in the UK. Survival rates were assumed to be at about 2% – 12%. Shockingly, only one in every thirteen participants agreed that they felt at ease when administering CPR using AEDs. Their conclusion stated that proliferation and education were vital components that needed to be added if an improvement or progress was to be made.

Survival rates in the US are in some way similar to those experienced in the UK. There is a slight increase though in some regions of the United States. A good example would be Seattle or Las Vegas where the AEDs have been strategically placed all over the city.

Things we can do to reduce deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest

AEDs are known to save lives. This in itself is a vital fact that can help in reducing number of deaths experienced. Deployment of these gadgets in public areas such as churches, schools, airports and Stadiums can significantly help in reducing sudden cardiac arrest deaths.

There is also the need to collaborate with the HRS (Heart Rhythm Society) and the AHA (American Hearts Association). They are the best organizations to help spread awareness to the public. Making CPR part of the school curriculum can also go a long way in improving the survival rates of people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest. The push for widespread CPR training should be made consistent.

It’s also important that all the equipments used be in good condition most notable the AEDs which will be used by the public on regular occasions. Making all these a priority will without a doubt improve the chances of the person next to you about to have a sudden cardiac arrest.