Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

Heart Attack vs SCA

Often an SCA and heart attack are thought to be the same thing. However, they are very different.  A heart attack is caused when the blood supply to the heart is blocked but the heart keeps beating.
An SCA occurs when the heart’s electrical system goes haywire causing an arrhythmia. There are many types of arrhythmias.  The arrhythmia that causes an SCA is one where the heart stops pumping blood to the body.

Every minute counts.

When someone has a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 7-10 per cent.

Less than one in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK (British Heart Foundation – 2015 report). This is partly because bystanders don’t have the skills or confidence to perform CPR.

The concern may be that you could do further harm but the irony is without intervention that person has no chance of survival.

If it’s not treated, SCA usually causes death within minutes.

Cardiac Science are working to change the statistics and you can help with that.

You can follow in your child’s footsteps and learn CPR.  This can be done with the BHF Heartstart Courses or other training providers, just do a search in your area.

However CPR alone is not enough, a defibrillator is the only effective therapy for SCA. Defibrillators are designed to be used by anyone, you do not require training to use one.

Time really is of the essence with SCA, defibrillation within three minutes can increase survival rates to 75%. This is why it is so important to make defibrillators widely available.

Does your community have a defibrillator? What about your workplace?  If not, this is your opportunity to help make the places you and your loved ones inhabit heartsafe.

There are a number of ways you can do this, to find out more please complete the form above and we will contact you.


1&2) – BHF Cardiovascular Disease Statistics – UK Factsheet
3) ERC- 2015 executive summary