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FAQ | Stop Heart Attack

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is Floyd Larkin?
A: Floyd Larkin, president of Stop Heart Attack, began his career with heart defibrillators in 1976. His experience and expertise in the field of emergency medical technology is an immeasurable asset to anyone looking for the best life-saving technology and customer service.

Q: What is sudden cardiac arrest?
A: Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating due to a malfunction in the heart's electrical system. The malfunction that triggers SCA is a life-threatening abnormal rhythm, or arrhythmia. Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is the most common type of arrhythmia that leads to SCA. During VF, the heart’s chaotic rhythm makes it unable to pump blood to the body and brain. – Medtronic

Q: How is a heart attack/ cardiac arrest different from SCA?
A: During a heart attack, heart muscle begins to die due to blocked blood flow. Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an abnormal heart rhythm.

Q: What are the warning signs of cardiac arrest?
A: Chest, arm, upper abdomen or jaw pain, nausea and sweating often precede a heart attack. – American Heart Association

Q: What are the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest?
A: There are rarely warning signs before sudden cardiac arrest. However, SCA victims lose their pulse, lose consciousness, and then stop breathing. - Medtronic

Q: How would I tell if someone is having a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest?
A: The most easy-to-recognize factor is that heart attack patients usually remain conscious while sudden cardiac arrest patients always lose consciousness.

Q: Why do I need an AED if I can perform CPR?
A: Defibrillation is the only treatment for sudden cardiac arrest. Because sudden cardiac arrest is caused by a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system, only an electric shock from a defibrillator can restore the heart’s normal rhythm.

CPR is vital, but it is not enough. CPR forces blood through the body and vital organs and should be used in conjunction with a defibrillator or until a defibrillator arrives at the scene.

Q: How serious is sudden cardiac arrest?
A: Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death among American adults, claiming more than 225,000 lives annually. Two of every three deaths occur outside of hospitals.
 – Medtronic

Q: Who is at risk for sudden cardiac arrest?
A: Everyone is at risk. SCA can happen anywhere and to anyone, including children, although risk increases with age.

Q: What are the chances of surviving SCA without defibrillation?
A: Only 5-10 percent of people survive SCA without immediate treatment. However, areas with successfully implemented AED programs have seen survival rates of about 50 percent. When an SCA victim receives an AED shock within three minutes of their attack, survival rates increase even more.

Q: How long do SCA victims normally survive without receiving a shock from an AED?
A: After experiencing SCA, a victim’s chance of survival without an AED shock decreases by 7 to 10 percent with each passing minute. – American Heart Association

Q: How long will I have to wait for emergency help to arrive?
A: The average response time for emergency medical services is between 6 and 12 minutes. - Medtronic

Q: Is it possible to hurt someone with an AED?
A: No. AEDs are designed to analyze the heart’s rhythm and will only administer a shock if necessary. We have never heard of an AED giving an inappropriate shock. Also, regardless of the outcome, most states have Good Samaritan laws to protect those who attempt to save a life. - Floyd Larkin, Stop Heart Attack

Q: What are the training requirements for AEDs?
A: Because AEDs make all the decisions regarding the need for a shock and the strength of the administered shock, the units are virtually foolproof and training is not required. We encourage bystanders, regardless of their level of experience, to use AEDs in emergency situations. – Floyd Larkin, Stop Heart Attack

Q: Where can I receive AED or CPR training?
For most, videos about the basic AED functions, which often are provided by the manufacturer are sufficient training. However, Stop Heart Attack can assist you with additional training, or with finding an AED or CPR trainer in your area.

Q: How do I register my AED?
A: After purchasing your AED, register it so your local emergency medical services (EMS) agency can locate your unit. Call a non-emergency number for your local EMS to register your AED. They will need the address of where your AED is physically located.