Every year, about 40,000 Canadians experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) — that’s one incident every 12 minutes. The majority (up to 85%) of cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals, in public places or in homes. Current survival rates are very low as it is estimated that only 5% of Canadians survive a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. Fast CPR and AED use within the first minutes doubles the chance of survival which is why awareness and education around this important topic is crucial.
SCA can strike without warning, affecting people of all ages and all degrees of fitness. When treating these events, speed is of the essence. If delivered in the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, for example, early defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can raise survival rates up to 75%. But each passing minute, the probability of survival decreases by 7% to 10%. Training Canadians in CPR and making defibrillators easily accessible can potentially save thousands of lives.