In the case of an unattended heart attack, the person dies in approximately 10 minutes. For each passing minute, the chances of survival drop by 10%, while irreparable brain damage occurs after only a few minutes.
The majority of heart attacks happen outside hospitals, where only bystanders are present. Many heart attacks can be cured by delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy (defibrillation). Previously, bystanders could only perform CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) to maintain life and wait for a rescue team to arrive and perform defibrillation.
The average response time of rescue teams is 10-15 minutes, but experts emphasize that the first defibrillation should take place 3-5 minutes after the heart attack. AED (automated external defibrillator) gives bystanders the opportunity to perform defibrillation outside the hospital within that time frame. The sooner CPR and defibrillation are performed, the higher the chances of survival.
How much can a bystander accomplish?
Without an AED, as much as a doctor without any equipment.
With an AED, almost as much as a fully equipped rescue team!
- If a person suffers a heart attack and we don’t help him/her, he/she will die in approximately 10 minutes. Brain damage occurs even earlier!
- An early defibrillation (delivery of a therapeutic dose of electrical energy) drastically increases chances of survival!
- The faster you act, the greater the chances of survival!