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What is sudden cardiac arrest?

SCA is a serious and life threatening medical emergency. During a sudden cardiac arrest, heart function ceases – abruptly and without warning. This causes the person to lose consciousness quickly. If the person does not receive immediate treatment with defibrillation, brain damage can occur. The chances of surviving SCA decrease by 7-10% with every minute that passes without a life-saving shock. Few attempts at resuscitation succeed after 10 minutes.1

Of course different things can cause your heart to stop suddenly, an electrocution for example. But with SCA, your heart stops because its electrical system malfunctions.

Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack


A heart attack is a “plumbing” problem
 caused by one or more blockages in the heart’s blood vessels, preventing proper flow. Part of the heart muscle dies. The patient is awake and breathing.

SCA is an electrical problem, caused by an arrhythmia that prevents the heart from pumping blood to the brain and vital organs. The patient is unconscious and not breathing.

Did you know: 
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in Australia, with 43,603 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2013. Cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes5.

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