October is an exciting month. It is the first full month of fall, the weather is changing, and we are getting in the Halloween spirit. But it’s also dedicated to something far more critical. October holds the valuable title of National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. 31 days made out as a vital reminder of the importance of heart health and the life-saving knowledge we should all acquire.
This month and every month, we advocate for more widespread Automated External Defibrillator (AED) awareness and CPR/AED training. An AED is only successful if it is ready to shock, and if a person is empowered to use it.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Unlike a heart attack, SCA is typically caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart. This malfunction disturbs the heart’s normal rhythm, causing it to beat irregularly or stop altogether. The only cure is a shock from an AED.
SCA is a silent and often, an undetected threat. It can strike anyone at any time, regardless of age or fitness level. It is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. That’s why education and awareness are both so crucial. By acknowledging and understanding the risk factors and learning how to respond in an emergency, we have the chance to potentially save a life.
Understanding and identifying the early signs of SCA, such as abnormal breathing, sudden loss of responsiveness, gasping, or seizure like activity can lead to faster response times and better outcomes. Taking extra steps to be preventative and prepared can make an astonishing difference.
You may be asking yourself, “what can I do to honor this special month?”
Get CPR/AED trained/Renew your training
- We’ve just added several opportunities for certification courses and even some non-certification courses, if you want to enhance your current life-saving skills. (See Course Options)
Create a Culture of First Responders™
- Organize a CPR/AED training at your work or places that you frequent
- Check out our free posters that you can print and hang up in your organization
- Share information about Sudden Cardiac Arrest with your friends and on your social media channels
Check your AEDs, are they ready to shock?
- Are your batteries and pads up-to-date?
- Have you recently checked that you are still compliant with all federal and state regulations?
- Take our free AED Program Assessment to see if there are any areas you could improve on.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness month serves as a reminder that we all have a role to play in preserving life. By educating ourselves and the people around us, we can make a significant impact in the battle against SCA. Let’s use this month as a springboard to continue these efforts moving forward; because every heart deserves a chance to beat on.