Living Life After Surviving SCA

Living Life After Surviving SCA

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can occur at any time, at any place and to anyone of any age. When SCA occurs outside of a hospital, 11 percent of victims survive. The chance of survival improves when 9-1-1 is called and when CPR begins immediately. According to the American Heart Association, each year 70,000 people successfully leave the hospital after SCA. So, if you experience SCA, it does not always mean death, in fact, the survival rate is increasing.

Life After SCA

The survival rate has increased due to successful cardiac arrest care such as CPR and/or using an AED. After experiencing SCA it is possible to go back to your normal life, but there will likely be some changes you may experience such as:

  • Physical such as vision impairment impeding the ability to read
  • Neurological such as strokes, seizures or movement disorders
  • Cognitive such as language and communication difficulties
  • Emotional such as anxiety or depression
  • Social

SCA can occur for many different reasons, but it is important to work to minimize the probability of another arrest depending on the condition that may have caused SCA to occur in the first place. Additionally, having those around you prepared for what signs and symptoms to look for and how to treat SCA can increase the survival rate should another SCA occur.

Being Prepared to Treat SCA

Knowing how to use an AED and how to provide proper CPR can both be life-saving measures. After dialing 9-1-1, rescuers should begin CPR immediately as they await the arrival of EMS. If another bystander is nearby, they should look for an AED. The AED should be used prior to EMS arrival, if possible, to give the victim the best chance of survival. Taking an online or in-person CPR class can ensure you are confident in providing successful CPR. In addition to learning CPR, you will also learn how and when to use an AED.

Being prepared as both a victim and rescuer will help you live a healthy, quality life after surviving SCA.

How do I prepare to help someone suffering from SCA?

How do I prepare to help someone suffering from SCA?

1,000 people suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each day in the United States. When a victim loses consciousness the lack of oxygenated blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes. If you are in a situation where someone is experiencing SCA you can prepare to help them through CPR and an AED.

Most people call 9-1-1 and wait for them to arrive with the average ambulance in the United States taking up to eight minutes to arrive. If CPR isn’t performed or an AED isn’t used while you wait it can significantly decrease the victim’s chance of survival. Anyone, at any time and of any age can experience SCA. Performing CPR and using an AED can increase the chance of survival by 40 percent.

The Importance of CPR

Knowing how to perform CPR can save someone’s life. Without CPR, a person can die within eight minutes of losing consciousness. Each minute CPR isn’t performed the victim’s chance of survival decreases 10-15 percent.

CPR training can teach you the steps to take to ensure you are performing the most effective CPR and giving the victim the best chance of survival. CPR training can be done through in-person or online classes. In CPR classes you will learn:

  • How to recognize and respond to common emergencies
  • How to recognize and respond with CPR for adults and children
  • How to use and recognize the need for an AED

CPR should be performed until an AED is present.

The Importance of AEDs

Using an AED may sound intimidating but with visual and/or audio cues you can have confidence you are using it correctly and helping a victim survive SCA. The visual and/or audio cues will guide you step-by-step from placing the AED pads on the victim to delivering the shock, if needed. Fully automatic AEDs will deliver the shock automatically if the machine deems it necessary. Semi-automatic AEDs will have the rescuer deliver the shock. Once EMS arrives, they can take over with additional CPR and transporting the victim to a hospital.

You never know when you will be in a situation that requires CPR or the use of an AED so being prepared is the first step for increasing the survival odds for victims.

What is the best way to treat SCA?

What is the best way to treat SCA?

What is the best way to treat SCA?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating and erratically quivers. The victim will become unconscious and collapse unexpectedly. Death can occur within minutes if treatment isn’t provided immediately. Knowing how to treat someone experiencing SCA can help you save someone’s life. The best way to treat someone in cardiac arrest it to follow three steps. First, call 9-11, then grab an AED and/or begin CPR, and lastly, apply the AED.

Call 9-1-1

When SCA occurs the chances of brain injury increases every minute. It is important to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible so you have an EMS professional nearby to assist in CPR, use the AED and transport the victim to the hospital. The average response time for an ambulance in the United States is eight minutes so while you wait an AED should be used and CPR should begin.

Grab an AED and/or Begin CPR

Depending on where the SCA victim is and how close you or another bystander are to an AED will depend on if you begin CPR or use the AED first. If SCA occurs in public such as at a healthcare facility, a school or business, an AED is likely nearby. In this case, a bystander should grab an AED while someone stays with the victim and begins CPR until the AED arrives.

If SCA occurs in a private setting such as at home or out in public where an AED is not likely to be found, CPR should be started immediately to give the victim the best chance at survival. To learn CPR, you can take an online or in-person CPR class.

Online CPR & Safety Training

On-Site CPR & Safety Training

Apply the AED

Once an AED is found, apply the AED pads on the victim and follow the instructions until EMS arrive. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act in an emergency. If you have never used an AED before, most offer visual and/or audio cues to guide you step-by-step to shock the victim, if needed, and help you feel confident in doing so. AED resources and manuals can be found here.

How can I tell if someone is experiencing SCA?

How can I tell if someone is experiencing SCA?

How can I tell if someone is experiencing SCA?

The first step in knowing if someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is to know what it is and what to look for. Once you know the signs to look for it is important to be prepared for how to help through CPR or an AED to give the victim the best chance at survival.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and quivers. This stops blood from circulating to the brain causing the brain to lose oxygen and shut down. If someone is experiencing SCA they become unconscious and collapse unexpectedly. SCA can result from:

  • Cardiac causes
  • External causes
  • Other medical causes

SCA is the leading cause of death in the United States with more than 356,000 adults experiencing out-of-hospital SCA. SCA most often occurs in the home, a public setting or a nursing home. Response time is important when someone is experiencing SCA.

How to Help

The response time from SCA occurring to treatment determines the likelihood of the victims survival. Help should be provided within 10 minutes for the best opportunity of survival. Depending on where the SCA occurs, help can be provided through the following steps:

1. Call 9-1-1

2. Find a nearby AED (if possible):


3. Start CPR until an AED can be used by the bystander or EMS

Brain damage can occur within five minutes of breathing stopping so it is important to begin CPR or using an AED as soon as possible. According to the CDC, the chances of survival increase 2x-3x when CPR is administered during SCA. The average response time of an ambulance in the United States is eight minutes so it is imperative CPR is administered or an AED is used immediately.

If you are unsure how to perform CPR you can take an online or on-site CPR class to become certified. You will learn how to recognize and respond to emergencies with CPR as well as how to use an AED. Most AEDs come with verbal and audio cues to help you feel confident using it.

On-Site CPR Training

Online CPR Training

How Will an AED Prompt Me During Use?

How Will an AED Prompt Me During Use?

An AED is needed when sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs causing the heart to stop beating. There is a 5-minute window from when the victim collapses to when shock from an AED must be applied for the victim to survive. AEDs can be fully automatic or semi-automatic with the main difference being how the shock is applied. Regardless of which AED you are using, both offer visual and/or audio prompts to guide you.

Fully Automatic AEDs

A Fully Automatic AED reads a victim’s underlying heart rhythm and if they have a shockable rhythm the AED will administer a shock automatically. It will not shock the victim if they do not need it. The automatic version of the AED was created with the intention of reducing the delay in administering the shock by those who may not be comfortable pressing the shock button.

Semi-Automatic AEDs

A Semi-Automatic AED will read the victim’s underlying heart rhythm and if they have a shockable rhythm, it will prompt the rescuer to push the shock button to administer the shock. Just like the fully automatic AED, a semi-automatic AED will not prompt the shock button to be pushed if the shock is not needed.

How AED Prompts Work

Using an AED can be intimidating but fortunately they come with visual and/or audio prompts to help you feel more comfortable and confident using one. Nearly every AED regardless of it being fully automatic or semi-automatic offer visual prompts in the form of large graphics or iconography that demonstrate how to use the AED. They also will visually show you how to administer CPR. In semi-automatic AEDs, audio prompts will instruct the user how to use the AED and will tell you when to administer the shock button.

AED packages with great visual and audio cues include the HeartSine Samaritan AED Business Package or the ZOLL AED Plus Business Package.

AEDs are important because SCA can happen at any time, anywhere and at any age. Rescuers will not always be prepared but can be confident in helping to save a victim’s life through the help of an AEDs visual and audio cues.

5 reasons you need a Business AED Package

5 reasons you need a Business AED Package

Employee safety should always be top-of-mind for any business. When it comes to safety keeping an AED package onsite in the workplace can keep employees safe but may ultimately save a life. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can occur at any time, so it is important for your business to always be prepared.

#1. Easy to Use

AEDs are easy to use and come with both visual and audio cues to get you through an emergency situation. To ensure the AED is beneficial to your business, our packages are compact, lightweight, portable, battery-operated, have multi-language capability, have a Wi-Fi connection and are safe to use. When choosing a package be sure to add on pediatric pads if children are frequently present.

#2. SCA Can Happen at Any Time

SCA can occur at work due to a heart attack, electrocution, or asphyxiation, just to name a few. AEDs should be placed appropriately to allow for a response time in 3-5 minutes as well as:

  • Areas where many people work close together
  • Where electric-powered devices are used
  • Outdoor worksites
  • Health units
  • Fitness areas

Studies have shown that only 50% of employees can locate the AED in their workplace so it is important to ensure your employees know all AED locations.

#3. Survival Odds Increase

An AED increases the survival odds because they can be used before emergency medical service (EMS) arrive. Studies have shown that using an AED immediately have a 60% survival one year after SCA. Of the SCA deaths that occur each year, more than 95% of the victims die before they reach the hospital. When care is provided within five to seven minutes, including early treatment with an AED, survival rates can improve dramatically.

#4. 10,000 SCAs Occur in the Workplace Each Year

There are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the United States, with nearly 10,000 occurring in the workplace. Less than 10% of victims often survive. Having an AED onsite can make your workplace safer and can mean the difference between life or death.

#5. It’s Always Better to Have One Available if You Need it

Your business is better off taking the chance of having an AED onsite and not needing it than not having one available and needing it. Having an AED in the office brings peace of mind to your employees in case of an emergency. Death can occur within minutes if the victim doesn’t receive treatment. We have different and affordable business AED packages available depending on your business’s needs. Common packages include the Philips HeartStart OnSite AED Business Package and the ZOLL AED Plus Business Package.

Although an AED in the workplace is important, so is having your employees trained on how to use it and how to perform CPR so they are prepared if an emergency situation were to occur. CPR is easy to learn, and anyone can perform it. If CPR is performed immediately, it can double or triple the chance of survival.


Why Would I Need a Portable AED Package?

Why Would I Need a Portable AED Package?

Why Would I Need a Portable AED Package?

Do You Need a Portable AED Package?

If you’re asking the question, odds are you may have one or more pre-existing heart conditions. Or, you may frequently find yourself in high-risk situations where people are more likely to suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Or, perhaps you manage a fleet of vehicles or have witnessed someone experiencing SCA. Let’s dig a little deeper into a few reasons why owning a portable AED may be a good idea for you.  

Reason #1: 7 in 10 Sudden Cardiac Arrests Happen at Home

The Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association report that about 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) occur outside of hospitals each year. And about 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home. 

Taken a step further, nearly 50% of the people who experience cardiac arrests at home don’t get the help they need — defibrillation and CPR — to improve their survival odds before emergency responders arrive. However, if someone begins CPR and uses an AED within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, it can double or triple a person’s chance of survival (CDC). 

Having a quickly accessible portable AED can dramatically improve survival odds.

Reason #2: You’re At a Higher Risk for Cardiac Arrest or Heart Attack

If you’ve already suffered a heart attack or are the survivor of a previous SCA, unfortunately, you’re at a higher risk for a repeat performance. Find some additional peace of mind and invest in a portable AED. While you’re at it, make sure your friends, loved ones, and neighbors all know how to perform CPR and use your AED!

Other risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • A sedentary lifestyle

Source: Mayo Clinic

Reason #3: You’re Always On-the-go

Maybe you’re coaching an athletic team, maybe you travel frequently, or perhaps you run a local community center. If you’re around active or high-risk people, owning a portable AED may be the most efficient way to have immediate access to life-saving equipment when you need it most.

Reason #4: Peace of Mind

The HeartStart OnSite is the only AED on the market that does not require a physician's prescription and is approved for home use. This means it’s also a great portable AED option for individuals to have when they hit the road.

Get yours today. For more information about purchasing an AED for your home, visit or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails; you can reach us at

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.