Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 300,000 deaths each year – more than lung cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. SCA (also known as SCD or Sudden Cardiac Death) occurs abruptly and without warning; the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and blood cannot be pumped to the rest of the body. SCA is different from a heart attack which occurs when a blockage in a blood vessel interrupts the flow of oxygen‐rich blood to the heart, causing the heart muscle to be damaged.
Out‐of‐hospital survival for SCA is less than 8%, making prediction and prevention critically important. Patients at highest risk for SCA are those with heart failure, a prior heart attack, reduced ejection fraction, prior SCA or a family history of SCA. Approximately 12 million people in the US fit these clinical profiles and may be at risk. SCA can also strike apparently healthy individuals and is the leading cause of death in young athletes.
Within this area of our website are specific resources for use by patients and their families.
Under the Heart Rhythms section is information patients may find useful regarding general cardiac anatomy and physiology and information on and samples of many common abnormal cardiac rhythms.
The Treatments section contains a brief overview of various options which may be considered in the treatment of abnormal cardiac findings
A glossary of terms is also provided.
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