As a safety professional, you may feel you’re ready for any emergency and you’ve made sure the people around you are, too. But does your preparation include the possibility of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)? Simply put, sudden cardiac arrest happens when the heart, for whatever reason, suddenly stops beating. It sounds fatal, but surprisingly, you can survive SCA if you receive the right form of treatment. Speed, however, is critical. Treatment must begin immediately (within 4 to 6 minutes) to be effective. If your workforce isn’t prepared to deal with SCA, the time has never been better to train them in this form of treatment that could save the life of a friend or colleague. Here’s what we know about Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
SCA Is a Leading Cause of Death in Adults
SCA affects people around the globe and is a leading cause of death in adults over the age of 40. Almost a quarter of a million people die each year in the United States from SCA. Yet sadly, only 32% of SCA cases receive lifesaving CPR from bystanders. Worse, only 2% receive treatment from an AED, (automated external defibrillator) though many workplaces have them available for just such an emergency.
Anyone can suffer sudden cardiac arrest, including children and teenagers. And almost anyone can give CPR or legally use an AED.
SCA Is Caused by Many Things
You don’t have to have a history of heart disorders to suffer sudden cardiac arrest. Many factors may contribute. Essentially, SCA happens when arrhythmias cause the heart to cease beating. This can happen if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, are obese, or if you smoke. Family history may be a contributing factor, so may an inactive lifestyle. The person next to you could look and feel perfectly fine and suffer sudden cardiac arrest. And if that happens, knowing how to respond in the right way and in the right amount of time could prevent unnecessary death.
Knowing How to Treat SCA Could Save a Life
If your workforce isn’t trained to react to SCA, it’s time to begin. A good first step is to check to see if your employer provides AEDs on site. And if so, it’s vital to make sure everyone knows how to use them. A secondary line of defense is to send every employee for training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. Simple chest compressions, when started right away, may be enough to keep someone alive until help arrives. But to be effective, they must be done correctly.
EA Certs offers instruction in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support in Los Angeles, CA. Courses are approved by the American Heart Association and are open to all businesses and professions. If you’re interested in enrolling your workforce in our ACLS course to save lives, contact us today.