The abnormal heart rhythms, in medical term arrhythmias, that may occur during sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) are:
- Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) - the heart quivers all over all instead of beating
- Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) - the bottom of the heart beats too fast which does not allow for the blood to be pumped out of it
- Asystole - the absence of any movement within the heart (stops all together)
- Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA) - the heart produces some electrical activity trying to cause the heart to beat but the heart muscle will not contract or beat
In the event of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, time is critical. For every minute defibrillation is delayed, the victim's chance of survival decreases by nearly 10%. After 10 minutes, typically Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates could potentially drop to extremely low numbers without any bystander CPR and/or an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Manual CPR was developed to keep oxygen moving to the brain of a person whose heart has stopped beating. The idea is that by physically pushing on the chest approximately 2 inches, the heart will be forced to move oxygen and blood to the brain. This along with an AED can increase survival rates from Sudden Cardiac Arrest to nearly 75% by delivering a life-saving shock within the first 6 minutes.