FAQ

IS A HEART ATTACK AND CARDIAC ARREST THE SAME THING?

A heart attack is different than sudden cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction of the heart that causes the heart to stop beating, where the person stops breathing and loses consciousness immediately. Without the heart pumping blood to the body's organs, the organs quickly begin to shut down, and the person can die within minutes.


Heart attacks are damage to the heart muscle caused by a blockage in an artery leading to the heart, thus preventing blood from flowing to the heart. Heart attacks are more related to chronic conditions where cardiac arrest can happen for a variety of reasons, including undetected genetic defects in otherwise healthy young people under 30.

WHO CAN BE AFFECTED BY SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), while more common in the elderly, can strike at any age. SCA is actually a leading cause of death in student athletes and a leading cause of death under 30. Every 3 days in the US a student athlete dies, potentially from undetected heart conditions.

DO I NEED TO BE CPR CERTIFIED TO PERFORM CPR?

You don't need to be CPR certified to perform CPR and potentially save a life as a bystander. In addition, Good Samaritan laws offer legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. 


CPR can be very easy to learn, it takes confidence and a few key things to know what to do. So many people assume CPR and using an AED is difficult. Anyone can do it! Just remember 3 things: Call. Push. Shock.

CAN I BE HELD LIABLE IF I TRY AND HELP A VICTIM?

Good Samaritan laws in all 50 states offer legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. If a volunteer comes to the aid of an injured or ill person who is a stranger, the person giving the aid owes the stranger a duty of being reasonably careful.


Some states will consider it an act of negligence though, if a person doesn't at least call for help. Generally, where an unconscious victim cannot respond, a good Samaritan can help them on the grounds of implied consent. However, if the victim is conscious and can respond, a person should ask their permission to help them first.

IS SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST COMMON?

While it may appear to be rare, sudden cardiac arrest is more common than we think. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming an estimated 325,000 lives each year. SCA kills 1,000 people a day or one person every two minutes.


Globally, cardiac arrest claims more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined. More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year.