Cardiac Arrest

All the terminology surrounding heart incidences can get so confusing. For instance, what is the difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack? 

Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart.

A cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. In cardiac arrest, death results when the heart suddenly stops working properly. This may be caused by abnormal, or irregular, heart rhythms (called arrhythmias).  

Unfortunately 55 Australians suffer a cardiac arrest EVERY DAY when going about their daily business and if they are not at a hospital less than 8% of these Australians survive.

A cardiac arrest is an emergency. If you witness a cardiac arrest, you can increase the person’s chances of survival by following CALL, PUSH, SHOCK.  Call 000 immediately and give CPR. Ask someone to find the nearest defibrillator to use.

CPR performed by a bystander immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a patient’s chance of survival.  Using a defibrillator within the first minute of sudden cardiac arrest, can potentially bring the chance of survival rate up to 90%.

There is often a fear associated with using a defibrillator. Did you know that ANYONE can use a defibrillator and start CPR to try and save the life of someone in cardiac arrest. You CANNOT hurt someone using a defibrillator, quite the opposite, you may in fact save their life.