Step Change

When I first joined RescueStat, I was taken back by the statement: “RescueStat partners have experienced survival rates upwards of 70%.”

This struck me because I knew that the national survival rate for Sudden Cardiac Arrest was less than 10%. With most products and services, if you can solve a problem 10% or 20% more effectively then you generally have an excellent solution. In this scenario, we are talking about multiples of improvement. More than 7x or 700%! This led me on a journey to uncover what was causing this dramatic difference. What I uncovered was a strikingly simple but effective framework of progressive steps that can be taken by any organization to dramatically increase survival.

The key to understanding the framework is recognizing that time to first shock is the key variable in Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival. The brain and vital organs can only survive so long without oxygen and a pumping heart is essential to ensure that that continues. If we want to increase the stubborn average survival rate of less than 10%, we much step up our response to Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Stepping up the Survival Rate of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

When Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes, responders should take immediate action to increase the chance of survival of the victim. Broadly speaking, there are three actions that dramatically help increase the chance of survival outlined below. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

Baseline 0 – Do Nothing: Time Keeps Ticking

Unfortunately, ignoring the signs of SCA or delaying the response will lead to a fatal outcome. The survival rate is zero if no action is taken. Without prompt intervention, irreversible brain damage will occur within minutes, inevitably leading to death. When a heart stops, time keep ticking.

Step 1 – Call 911: Help is on the Way

The survival rate can increase dramatically with just one simple action: immediatly calling emergency medical services (EMS) or 911. By calling 911, the survival rate can increase to above 10% because an automated external defibrillator (AED) and medical responders are on the way. Emergency operators will provide instructions and support until help arrives. This is the first step to increase survival.

Step 2 – Push: Slow Down Time with CPR

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, can double or even triple the chances of survival if started immediately. When combined with a 911 call, survival rates can rise to about 25-30+%. CPR effectively slows down time, allowing oxygen to continue to circulate blood to vital organs, keeping the victim alive until an AED and professional medical help arrives.

Step 3 – Shock: Use an AED to Reset the Heart

Using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in conjunction with calling 911 and performing CPR is the most effective response to SCA. An AED is essential to Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival because it delivers the necessary shock to the heart to restore its normal rhythm. This approach combined with calling 911 and CPR can lead to survival rates of 70+%.

It’s as Easy as 1,2,3. Call, Push, Shock

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a dire medical emergency but at RescueStat, in coordination with our partner organizations, we have proven this simple framework works: Call, Push, Shock. We help organizations stay ready in the face of Sudden Cardiac Arrest to maximize survival rates. Calling 911 is a critical first step but performing CPR and using an AED are essential next steps to dramatically increase a historically stubborn survival rate.


In the face of unforgiving Sudden Cardiac Arrest, stepping up our response means stepping up the chances of survival. How many steps are you prepared to take?

Take the first step now, sign up for CPR/AED Training