Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Awareness

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, which represents a critical initiative by the Heart Rhythm Society to raise awareness for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and help the public become more familiar with what it is, how it affects people, and what can be done to help save lives.

Think Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a Heart Attack? That's Like Comparing Apples and Oranges.

The Society's award-winning "Apples and Oranges" campaign uses a simple analogy to educate people about the difference between a heart attack and SCA. More than 65 percent of Americans not only underestimate the seriousness of SCA, but also believe SCA is a type of heart attack. The campaign targets heart attack survivors, who are at the highest risk for SCA, and stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy heart lifestyle and learning critical risk markers, especially their Ejection Fraction (EF).

This public service announcement explains the dangers of SCA and features Emmy-award winning journalist Shaun Robinson.


About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

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More than 350,000 deaths occur each year as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.

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SCA claims one life every two minutes, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer, or AIDS.

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To decrease the death toll from SCA, it is important to understand what SCA is, what warning signs are, and how to respond and prevent SCA from occurring.

Responding to SCA — Time is Everything

Time-to-treatment is critical when considering the chance of survival for an SCA victim. Ninety-five percent of those who experience SCA die because they do not receive life-saving defibrillation within four to six minutes, before brain and permanent death start to occur. Click below to learn more about the steps to take when responding to a potential SCA emergency.

SCA Prevention

SCA Resources

Patients can access information about SCA, including causes, prevention, and other important facts. 

Providers can view our new patient educational information sheets and learn how to order customizable sheets with your logo and contact information.

Learn your SCA risk by using an interactive online tool. It’s fast and easy — simply answer a few questions regarding your health and get your results. After you have finished using the assessment, please consult with your physician regarding your results.

Are You At Risk?

Sketcher App

Doctor Using the HRS Sketcher App on an iPad Get the latest Sketcher iPad app via the iTunes® Store. Visit, then search on "HRS" or look in the Medical section.

Learn more about the Heart Rhythm Society’s updated iPad tool, used by healthcare professionals to educate and inform patients about specific heart arrhythmias and possible medical options to treat the disease and improve quality of life.


Clinicians may also review and download the following complimentary campaign materials:


SCA Related Organizations & Websites

A number of organizations are involved in Sudden Cardiac Arrest awareness, education, and support. Note that this list is intended to serve as a convenience — inclusion of a link does not imply the Heart Rhythm Society' endorsement of either the linked website, the organization operating such website, or any products or services of that organization.