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UVA Doctor: Bystanders Play Critical Role In Survival From Sudden Cardiac Arrest

UVA Professor of Emergency Medicine, Dr. William Brady
Source: University of Virginia (Photo: Dr. William Brady, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia)

Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen at any time, but experts say holiday stress can increase the likelihood.  And as Charles Fishburne reports, a doctor at the University of Virginia says bystanders can play a critical role in saving lives. 


Charles Fishburne:  Unlike a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest does not occur from clogged arteries, but from an electrical disturbance that causes the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness.  UVA Professor of Emergency Medicine, Dr. William Brady says only 8% of Americans survive cardiac arrest outside a hospital, but the survival rate can be significantly increased if bystanders know the symptoms and can perform simple life-saving tasks. 

Dr. Brady:  Bystanders’ care of the cardiac arrest victim is vitally important.  This care involves recognizing that cardiac arrest is likely occurring, calling for help via 911, starting chest compression, and if it’s available, applying an automatic external defibrillator and following its directions.

The American Heart Association is now endorsing a compression-only CPR and Dr. Brady is spearheading efforts to install automatic external defibrillators in public buildings.  Charles Fishburne, VPM News.