AEDs

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

“You nearly caused me to suffer sudden cardiac arrest!” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “You nearly gave me a heart attack!” does it?

We realize we’re not going to remove that particular misleading nugget from our lexicon, but we can point out the differences — and connections — between SCA, heart attacks, and heart disease.

Heart attacks (which are often caused by heart disease) and sudden cardiac arrest are extremely serious medical events requiring immediate medical attention. However, many people don’t fully understand the differences between these common killers. 

What’s a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is a circulatory problem that occurs when blood flow to the heart is severely reduced or blocked.

Serious as a heart attack, in fact.

During a heart attack, the heart may continue to beat normally but if the blockage is not quickly resolved, parts of the heart muscle begin to die due to lack of oxygen. The longer a heart attack goes on without treatment, the greater the damage to the muscle. 

Heart attacks occur more often in individuals with a history of heart disease.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Symptoms can occur hours, days, and even weeks before the heart attack itself. According to the American Heart Association, the most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain
  • Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Women may also experience the following warning signs:

  • Pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Unusual fatigue

What’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem caused when an individual’s heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, preventing blood and oxygen from flowing to vital organs. 

When the heart stops beating, death can occur within minutes. 

SCA is always as serious as a heart attack! 

Without CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing to vital organs and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the heart back into a healthy rhythm, SCA is always fatal.

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

A heart attack often telegraphs its arrival with clearly defined symptoms; however, SCA occurs with little or no warning. Symptoms are immediate and critical: 

  • Sudden loss of consciousness/responsiveness
  • Absence of breathing
  • No pulse.

Here’s a connection between heart disease and SCA that you should know about: People who have suffered a heart attack are at an increased risk of experiencing SCA. 

The good news is that cardiac arrest can be reversible if treated in the first few minutes with CPR and by using an AED on the victim.

What You Can Do to Assist Someone Who is Experiencing a Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest

Call 911 immediately. The operator may be able to help you administer compression-only CPR to the victim. If possible, ask a bystander to locate an AED and use the device immediately. 

You never know when your actions could help save a life.

To learn more about our CPR and AED courses or schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com 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.

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

The importance of AEDs in fitness centers and gyms

Making sure your gym or fitness center has an automated external defibrillator (AED) can mean the difference between life and death. AEDs are small, portable, and easy-to-use life-saving devices that can be used to shock a person’s heart back into rhythm if it has stopped or is beating irregularly.

Reason #1: SCA is more common than you think it is

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year. 

Reason #2: Strenuous Exercise Raises Short-term Risk of Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest 

And many of these cardiac arrests occur while people are pumping iron or pounding the treadmill. A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that about 16% of public, indoor sudden cardiac arrests reported over a 12-year period occurred at an exercise facility.

But that’s not an excuse for ditching your New Year’s Resolutions. Fitness is key to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, physical exercise remains one of the best ways to lower overall heart disease risk. So get moving!

Reason #3: AEDs Improve Survival Odds in Fitness Centers

Get this: that study also found that people who suffered cardiac arrest in traditional exercise facilities had a significantly higher survival rate compared to people who were in non-traditional exercise facilities (like community centers, church gyms, and dance studios).

What’s the difference? Well, fitness centers and gyms are more likely to have AEDs — and people on staff who are trained to use them — than other locations. Gyms are also more likely to have multiple AEDs throughout the facility. Poolside, cycling studios, weight rooms, cardio floors, and by the entrance are all common gym AED locations.

Reason #4: Your State May Require One

Many states require fitness facilities and gyms to have an AED on site. Any health club that does not have an AED — even if your state hasn’t mandated them — runs the risk of being seen as acting with indifference to the welfare and safety of its patrons and members. In other words, it’s your duty of care. 

Reason #5: Liability Protection

Facilities with AEDs may have lower insurance premiums because they’re less likely to endure liability lawsuits filed by grieving families.

To find out which AED is right for your gym or fitness facility or to schedule a training, visit our blog, call our team at 866-349-4362, or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com 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.

Do I need pediatric pads for my AED?

Do I Need Pediatric Pads For My AED?

Do I Need Pediatric Pads For My AED?

Pediatric defibrillation pads differ from adult pads by adjusting the energy level that is put out by the AED. These pads should be used for children under 55 lbs (typically under 8 years old), while adult pads should be used for individuals over 55 lbs (older than 8 years old). If children frequently visit your facility or business, it is highly recommended that pediatric pads are available for each AED on-site. In the event of an emergency and there are no pediatric pads available, adult pads can be used but may require the pads to be placed differently than where it shows on the pad package.

While most AEDs have pediatric pad options for their units, there are a few that don’t.

The Philips HeartStart FRx AED does not have pediatric pads. Instead, this AED uses a “Child Key” that can be inserted into the front of the unit to reduce the energy level of the shock.

The Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2 AED is another unit that does not require pediatric pads. This AED has a button that can be pressed to switch the AED from adult mode to child mode.