Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating or beats too ineffectively to circulate blood to the brain and other vital organs.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States – killing more than 350,000 Americans each year. Nationally, only 8 percent of those who suffer sudden cardiac arrest survive – a rate that hasn’t changed significantly in 30 years. Survival depends on immediately receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from someone nearby. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.