Pasadena, Maryland (PressExposure) June 05, 2009 -- Heart attack sufferers; people genetically predisposed to heart attacks and those who have been diagnosed as high risks for heart attacks should have inexpensive, easy-to-use "automatic operation" defibrillators available in their businesses, offices and homes because within 10 minutes of a " sudden cardiac arrest", victims suffer brain damage and die.
However, when a defibrillator is "immediately" available and used (within 3 minutes) survival rates soar to nearly 70% or better! As a result; business, offices and homeowners are now including defibrillators with fire extinguishers as part of their emergency response system to help save lives.
According to Al Reid, Vice President - AED Program Management Services; a company specializing in assuring that business and residential AED Programs comply with State laws and American Heart Association guidelines: "heart attack victims generally have time for the ambulance and emergency medical services to arrive and get them to the hospital for help. But a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victim has just four to six minutes before brain damage and eventual death occurs.
Reid said "more than 95% of SCA victims die before reaching the hospital. The correlation between a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest is very strong because most sudden cardiac arrests are usually preceded by one or more heart attacks; so because death happens so quickly, it is very important to access and use a defibrillator in less than 3 minutes".
The heart is a person's plumbing and an electrical system, pumping blood throughout the body an average of 72 times a minute. Most heart attacks are caused by a blockage of the arteries (a plumbing problem) versus a sudden cardiac arrest which causes the heart to beat abnormally or even stop beating (an electrical problem).
If the heart's valves are blocked by a clot or otherwise...less blood is pumped through the valves and less life sustaining oxygen and other nutrients are distributed throughout the body. If the blood clot blocks the majority of the valve or totally blocks the flow of blood, a heart attack usually occurs.
Just like in plumbing; when blockage builds or hardens in portions of or closes the entire pipe; the plumber has to remove the blockage so water flows freely through the pipe.
The difference between a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest is cardiac arrest shuts the heart down; creating an electrical malfunction known as "fibrillation". During fibrillation normal heart beating is replaced by abnormal rhythms or quivering and the heart can't pump blood to the body and its vital organs.
Fibrillation can only be reversed with a "defibrillator" or "automated external defibrillator"( AED) which sends a "biphasic" or two way electrical shocks to restore the heart's normal rhythm or heartbeat.