Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the biggest killers of Australians under 50, claiming the lives of over 22,000 people every year.
Many people underestimate the severity of SCA, believing it o be a type of heart attack. False.
What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by a glitch in the heart’s electrical system leading to unexpected death. The irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that arise from the condition can disrupt the heart’s pumping action.
Disruption to the blood supply can cause severe damage to the heart muscle and other vital organs. The person can render unconscious in seconds, and sudden death arrest can occur in minutes.
Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
On the other hand, a heart attack is a condition that occurs when there is a blockage in the coronary arteries that stops oxygen-rich blood from reaching part of the heart muscle.
Eventually, the heart becomes damaged, leading to sudden cardiac arrest. Death follows unless first aid treatment begins immediately.
Here, we will debunk surrounding myths about sudden cardiac arrest.
4 Common Myths on Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Myth #1: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Only Occurs in Senior
SCA is more likely to affect people over 50, but 10% of these attacks occur in people under 45. It can happen in all age groups, including seniors, adults, and teens.
The way we live our lives during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood lays the groundwork for heart health in the aging process. For instance, incorporating unhealthy diets, alcohol, and tobacco use slowly increases SCA risk.
Healthy lifestyle changes today can help build the foundation of a healthier heart later on.
Myth #2: Sudden cardiac arrest only affects men
It is a common misconception that only men are affected by sudden cardiac arrest. While it is a fact that SCA occurs more often in men, it does not mean that it exists only in one gender.
Data breakdown shows that over a 12-month period, cardiac arrest is more likely to occur in the ratio of three men to every one woman.
Myth#4: Use of AED may cause further harm.
Cardiac arrest emergencies can result in sudden death within minutes. Meaning every moment counts.
The use of an automated external defibrillator, in combination with CPR, is a critical part of the chain of survival. AED, otherwise known as a defibrillator, is a medical device that can detect and deliver a shock to restore heart rhythm.
Defibrillators are often in a publicly accessible and visible location, where bystanders can use within seconds of lusciousness.
Every moment lost in deciding whether to use the device decrease the victim’s chance of survival. When undecided to use AEDs, remember that these portable devices are well programmed and highly safe. Anyone who undergoes basic first aid and CPR training can use it correctly.
Myth#4: CPR Training is unnecessary in a cardiac emergency
Research shows that less than 60% of Australians feel helpless in the event of cardiac emergencies. Many do not know how to administer CPR or have failed to renew their training effectively.
CPR helps keep the oxygen-rich blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until normal heart rhythm is restored. It is one of the main reasons why investing in CPR training is beneficial.
Take Action. Save a Life.
Sudden cardiac arrest is common, but it is preventable. Implementing healthy lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems, regardless of age and gender.
A person in cardiac arrest can die within minutes, making every moment essential.
Knowing the signs and calling emergency services can save lives. It is worth looking into lifesaving research and education, such as CPR training.
First Aid Courses Tasmania offers a wide range of first aid and CPR courses to prevent deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrests.