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CPR facts and statistics


·        About 75 percent to 80 percent of all sudden cardiac arrests happen at home,
so being trained to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can mean
the difference between life and death for a loved one.

·        Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest,
can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

·        CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain and increases the
amount of time that an electric shock from a defibrillator can be effective.

·        Approximately 94 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before
reaching the hospital.

·        On average, only 27.4 percent of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims
receive bystander CPR.

·        Death from sudden cardiac arrest is not inevitable.  If more people knew CPR,
more lives could be saved.

·        Brain death starts to occur four to six minutes after someone experiences sudden
cardiac arrest if no CPR or defibrillation occurs during that time.

·        If bystander CPR is not provided, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of
survival fall 7 percent to 10 percent for every minute of delay until defibrillation. 
Few attempts at resuscitation are successful if CPR and defibrillation are not
provided within minutes of collapse.

·        About 310,000 coronary heart disease deaths occur out-of-hospital or in emergency
departments each year in the United States. Of those deaths, about 166,200 are due
to sudden cardiac arrest – nearly 450 per day.

·        Sudden cardiac arrest is most often caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called
ventricular fibrillation (VF).  Cardiac arrest can also occur after the onset of a heart
attack or as a result of electrocution or near-drowning.

When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the victim collapses, becomes unresponsive to gentle
shaking, stops normal breathing and after two rescue breaths, still isn’t breathing normally,
coughing or moving.

Heart Attack & Sudden Cardiac Death

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle (the myocardium) is severely reduced or stopped because one or more of the heart’s arteries is blocked.

Cardiac arrest is the stopping of the heartbeat. When a person’s heartbeat stops abruptly and unexpectedly, it’s called sudden cardiac arrest. Death can occur within minutes after the victim collapses. This is called sudden

cardiac death or SCD. The term “massive heart attack” is often mistakenly used to describe SCD. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest and sudden death, but it’s not the same thing…read more


What is an Automated External Defibrillator?

This information sheet provides answers to the following questions regarding automated external defibrillators (AEDs):

  • Why are AEDs important?
  • How does an AED work?
  • Who can use an AED?
  • Are AEDs safe to use?
  • Where can I get AED training?

View the fact sheet…
This file is an Adobe Portable Document (PDF).

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