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His heart stopped! Will you save him?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the most common cause of death from heart disease, accounting for more than 63 per cent of all cardiac deaths. In SCA, the heart suddenly stops beating normally. Without a blood supply, oxygen-starved organs are irreversibly damaged and will quickly fail... within a few minutes.

The only effective treatment for SCA is defibrillation. External defibrillation provides a brief, effective therapeutic electric shock through the person’s chest to the heart, restoring the heart’s normal rhythm. While people with heart problems are at high risk of death from SCA, it can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time without warning, and in some cases is the victim’s only symptom. Even young people who appear to be healthy, extremely fit athletes and people with no history of heart problems can be victims of this silent killer.

The definitive survival treatment for an SCA victim is a defibrillation shock. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or ‘chest compressions’ and ‘mouth-to-mouth’ breaths only temporarily circulate blood to vital organs, and on their own do not restore a patient’s heart into a healthy rhythm – a shock is needed… and fast!

The average national response time for the arrival of emergency personnel equipped with defibrillators is usually greater than 10 – 15 minutes – this is too late! This is why immediate access to defibrillators on-site is extremely important.

Each minute of delay in delivering a defibrillation shock to a cardiac arrest victim reduces the chances of survival by 10 per cent, meaning that, if a casualty is not shocked within five minutes of collapse, he/she will have less than 50 per cent chance of survival.

■ When a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) strikes, the first few minutes are critical to survival. In the chaos and confusion surrounding the event, it can be challenging for the average rescuer with only minimal training in CPR and AED use to remember and follow the correct procedures. It’s during these critical minutes that the Powerheart AED G5 becomes priceless. For more details contact Technoline Ltd on 2134 4345.

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