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Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can happen at any time, to anyone, of any age, in any location. When a person collapses in SCA, minutes count. A person in SCA is not breathing and their heart has stopped beating. Performing immediate CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) can keep a person’s brain and heart alive, until definitive care arrives. In addition to performing CPR quickly, using an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) can give this person the best possible chance to survive!

AEDs are small portable devices which can deliver an electric shock to a person’s heart. This shock can help to stop abnormal electrical impulses in the heart and allow it to return to a normal beating rhythm. The combination of CPR and AED use can literally bring a person back to life!

Without early CPR and AED use, only about 2.5% percent of SCA victims survive. But the initiation of early CPR and AED use within minutes, can raise a victim’s chance of survival to almost 80%.

There are many benefits why there should be an automated external defibrillator at homes and workplaces. Many cardiologists will also advise people likely to suffer from SCA to always carry an AED.

• An automated external defibrillator increases the chance of saving the life of an SCA victim by 75%.

• In case the SCA victim is not close to Emergency Medical Services (EMS), an untrained person may intervene by just pressing a shock button on the automated external defibrillator.

• The device offers a fully automated life-saving emergency therapy quickly and is operable by any lay person.

• The machines are fully automated, portable and can analyze the heart for shock rhythms. They are designed to give shocks automatically, and the rescuer does not press any button.

• The AED has an inbuilt communication that informs rescuers on the life-saving steps to follow. The rescuer will easily know when the SCA victim needs a shock therapy.

Timely intervention is necessary during an SCA. It is essential to perform a defibrillation within three minutes of an SCA. A delay in performing defibrillation increases the likelihood of death up to 75 %. This is why having AEDs is a life-and-death affair for cardiovascular patients.