October Is

National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of more than 356,0001 people each year, including more than 23,0002 youth under age 18.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is not a heart attack. A heart attack is caused by impeded blood flow through the heart. SCA is caused by a structural or electrical problem, often from an undetected heart condition, and in other instances, from an infection or a severe blow to the chest.

Survival Rate

The sudden cardiac arrest survival rate is less than 10%. As noted by the National Academy of Medicine’s Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time To Act, the survival rate has remained stagnant for three decades because the public is not prepared to save a life. Survival depends on emergency intervention beyond calling 911 within three minutes of collapse. A bystander administering hands-only CPR can triple a person’s chance of survival, and using an AED in the first minute of collapse can increase survival to 90%.

Free Resources

Call Push Shock has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a resource to educate the public about sudden cardiac arrest recognition and response. Use these free resources to prepare your family and friends, neighborhood, school, team, workplace and community to save a life.

Watch the Call Push Shock video

Find flyers, posters, social media images and other awareness tools here

Support of this National Health Observance

In 2008 the 110th Congress of the United States declared October to be National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public about warning signs, risk factors and what to do in a cardiac emergency.

In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported educating the public about what sudden cardiac arrest is, with publications like Cardiac Arrest: An Important Public Health Issue.

Healthy People 2030 Heart Disease/Emergency Preparedness objectives include increasing the rate of bystander CPR (PREP-01) and use of an AED (PREP-02).

Many organizations, including the ones listed below, offer information about:

  • risk factors and potential warning signs of a heart condition
  • preventative heart screenings
  • the Cardiac Chain of Survival that anyone can use to save a life
  • how to administer hands-only CPR and use an AED
  • cardiac emergency response plans
  • treatment options for SCA survivors and those living with a heart condition
  • flyers, posters, fact sheets, videos and training tools for SCA prevention

American College of Cardiology

The mission of the College and its more than 52,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health.

American Heart Association

The nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, we fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives.

Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation

CCF actively works with federal agencies, medical societies, voluntary health organizations, and hospitals nationwide to increase awareness, accelerate research, and advance education on pediatric cardiomyopathy, a chronic diseaseof the heart muscle.

Heart Rhythm Society

The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association

We are committed to providing support, education, advocacy and advancing research, understanding and care of those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Mended Hearts

Our mission is dedicated to inspiring hope and improving the quality of life for heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support.

Parent Heart Watch

We are the national voice solely dedicated to sudden cardiac arrest prevention in youth. Take the Prevention Promise and use our free 5 to Stay Alive toolkit to educate yourself and your community about how to save a young life.

Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation

Our mission is to save the lives and support the families of children and adults who are genetically predisposed to sudden cardiac death due to heart rhythm abnormalities.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association

We are dedicated to promoting solutions to prevent sudden cardiac death, including increased awareness, immediate bystander action, public access to defibrillation (PAD), cardiovascular disease prevention, and access to preventative therapies.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

Our vision is to increase awareness about SCA and influence changes that will reduce mortality through the increased use of bystander CPR and AEDs.

Women Heart

Our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women living with or at risk of heart disease, and to advocate for their benefit.

1 American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2020 Update

2 National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) data interpreted by Characteristics of paediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, Okubu et al 2020

3 CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is when you push hard and fast on the center of chest to make the heart pump; compressions may be given with or without rescue breaths.

4 AED: Automated external defibrillator is a device that analyzes the heart and if it detects a problem may deliver a shock to restart the heart’s normal rhythm.