When someone collapses from SCA, immediate CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) are essential for any chance of recovery. These devices are failsafe and will not cause injury to the user, nor will they deliver a shock if none is needed. For patients with ventricular fibrillation (VF) studies show that if early defibrillation is provided within the first minute, the odds are 90% that the victim’s life can be saved. After that, the rate of survival drops 10% with every minute. As many as 30% to 50% of SCA victims would likely survive if CPR and AEDs were used within five minutes of collapse.
The American Heart Association supports implementing the chain of survival to rescue people who suffer a cardiac arrest in the community. The adult chain of survival consists of:
- Early Recognition of the Emergency and Activation of Emergency Response System (phone 911 immediately)
- Early CPR
- Early Defibrillation
- Early Advanced Care