ASHI and MEDIC First Aid Blog

February 1, 2017

Cardiovascular Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Remain Leading Causes of Death

February 1st marks the beginning of American Heart Month. For 53 years, the U.S. government has recognized American Heart Month as a time to raise awareness about heart health and cardiovascular disease (CVD). As the recently released statistics on heart disease and stroke indicate, CVD and Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) are still leading causes of death in the United States.

These sobering statistics can be found in the March 7, 2017 issue of Circulation, and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation offers some highlights in their at-a-glance summary, including:

  • There are more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) annually in the U.S., nearly 90% of them fatal.
  • Estimates also suggest 7,037 children suffer OHCA each year.
  • The majority of OHCA’s occur at a home or residence (70%). Public settings (20%) and nursing homes (11%) were the second and third most common locations.
  • Cardiac arrest was witnessed by a bystander in 37% of cases, and an EMS provider in 12% of cases. It was unwitnessed in 51% of cases.

These recent studies show an upward trend that’s worth noting:

  • According to the ROC Epistry, the incidence of bystander CPR and lay use of AEDs has increased slightly over time. In 2006, 37% of OHCA victims received bystander CPR. In 2015, 44% received bystander CPR. Lay use of AEDs increased from 3% in 2006 to 7% in 2015.

To all of our ASHI and MEDIC First Aid instructors, thank you for your contribution to the slow but steady increase in lay person response to SCA. A trained bystander who witnesses an incident of SCA and has the confidence to respond prior to the arrival of EMS is a patient’s best hope for survival.

For our readers who aren’t instructors or haven’t taken a CPR and AED training class yet, we hope this is the year you’ll schedule that lifesaving training.  You can find an ASHI or MEDIC First Aid training class near you by clicking the button below.


Already know how to do CPR? Have you ever considered becoming a CPR, AED and first aid instructor? Give us a call today at 800-447-3177 and we’ll show you how easy it is to begin a career that can truly make a life-or-death difference in your home, workplace, or community.





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