Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Awareness

More than 350,000 deaths occur each year as a result of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). In fact, SCA claims one life every two minutes, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer, or AIDS. 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. More than 65 percent of Americans not only underestimate the seriousness of SCA, but also believe SCA is a type of heart attack. But they are not the same thing.

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.

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

  • More than 350,000 deaths occur each year as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.
  • SCA claims one life every two minutes, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer, or AIDS.
  • 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 permanent brain injury and death occur. Learn more about the steps to take when responding to a potential SCA emergency.

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.

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.

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