Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It strikes people of all ages who may seem to be healthy, even children and teens.
When SCA happens, the person collapses and doesn’t respond or breathe normally. They may gasp or shake as if having a seizure.
SCA leads to death in minutes if the person does not get help right away. Survival depends on people nearby calling 911, starting CPR, and using an AED (if available) as soon as possible.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40. In the United States, approximately 365,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrest every year. Nine out of 10 of them die. More people die from sudden cardiac arrest each year than accidents, suicides, flu, pneumonia, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease combined.