Cardiac Arrest

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 500,000 adults and children suffer a cardiac arrest each year and less than 15%* survive. For this reason, Medic is committed to improving these odds. One of the best avenues in accomplishing this goal is to eliminate "empty minutes" in the treatment of cardiac arrest patients. Too often, little is done to help the patient between the time the condition is recognized and the time emergency crews arrive on scene. That is why Medic is leading the effort to make the community - those of us who actually witness someone suffering a heart attack - the true First Responders and critical first link in the EMS system.

Two of our primary strategies in eliminating the empty minutes during a cardiac arrest are providing local businesses and community organizations with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and providing multiple CPR education platforms. Through our The Lucky Hearts Campaign and partnerships with both first responders and the American Heart Association, Medic has helped place hundreds of AEDs into public spaces and areas freely accessible.

Cardiac arrest can occur for many reasons, but the effect is the same. Once the heart stops beating, the brain begins to die within 4-6 minutes due to lack of oxygen. Simply put, a person has essentially died once their heart stops. Without quick intevention, they will likely stay this way. Fortunately, the right combination of training and quick action can save a person’s life in some cases.

Once a person’s heart has stopped, the chain of survival is very simple—

  • Access—Bystander recognizes the emergency and phones 911
  • Early CPR—Bystander follows the directions of the 911 dispatcher or already knows CPR and begins compressions
  • Early Defibrillation—Bystander locates the nearest onsite AED and applies it or first responders arrive with a defibrillator
  • Early Advanced Care—Paramedics arrive and begin to administer medications and perform advanced procedures

We believe that every person should have the best chance of survival possible. Medic has always worked to provide the best possible pre-hospital care to the citizens of this community. When it comes to cardiac arrest, we need your help.

  • Learn CPR—it may save the life of someone you love one day
  • Learn the symptoms of heart attacks and strokes—recognizing the symptoms of these killers may prevent your loved one from going into cardiac arrest
  • Recognize that a problem exists
  • Get involved—make the call to 911 and follow the dispatcher’s instructions. They will give you step-by-step instructions on what-to-do.
  • Keep going—don’t stop doing CPR until Paramedics or First Responders arrive. You are giving that person the best possible chance of survival.
  • Ask about AEDs (defibrillators)—does your church, business, or fitness center have one? If not, why not? These inexpensive devices might save your life one day.

Please feel free to contact Community Engagement Coordinator Lester Oliva at [email protected] for questions.

*According to the American Heart Association, 2013.