Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, young or old, at any time. It is a leading cause of death in the U.S., and it happens when the heart abruptly stops.
When an adult collapses, odds are that itís from sudden cardiac arrest. Odds are also high that if bystanders respond at all, the only thing they will do is call 9-1-1. Medical attention is critical, but bystanders must act first ó and fast ó because every minute counts.
Even scarier? About 80 percent of victims collapse at home Ė many times while the victimís loved ones stand by helplessly because they donít know what to do.
The good news is that chance of survival more than doubles with immediate and effective CPR. And the American Heart Association is making it easier for people to remember the steps to take in a sudden cardiac emergency with Hands-Only CPR.
Hands-Only CPR Ė or CPR without using breaths Ė involves two simple steps to help an adult cardiac arrest victim:
1) Call 9-1-1
2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest until an AED arrives and is ready for use or healthcare providers take over
Remember the classic Bee Gees disco hit "Stayin' Alive?" Itís the perfect beat for remembering the right rate of chest compressions during Hands-Only CPR. Disco may be dead, but itís helping keep people alive.
The AHA is working with social fundraising website Crowdrise.com to raise money to support its research and educational programs.