Archives for Patricia A. Basciano

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month: A time to reflect and a call to action

Sudden cardiac arrest is a killer. It is ruthless, silent, deadly and effective. So effective, in fact, that 92- 95% of its victims die. So effective, that despite more than 30 years of progress in technology, the survival rate remains at an appallingly low and unacceptable level of 5-8%.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, as a leading national advocate on this issue, recognizes and appreciates the fact that Congress has designated the month of October as Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. However, we realize that our work does not begin at the start of October and that it does not end on October 31. Rather, in order to battle this healthcare crisis, we must continue our work on a daily basis in order to achieve our goals.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association is comprised of a national network of chapters who have made it their mission to fight back. To those few of us who are fortunate enough to have survived this killer, and to those who have unfortunately lost loved ones to it, there is very little that is more important than making sure that we can help provide our communities with the tools to continue this fight. Across the country, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association chapters, leaders, members and other volunteers are leading the charge to raise awareness of the presence of this killer and to educate the public as to how to combat it.

Awareness, education, CPR/AED training, placement of AEDs ( Automated External Defibrillators) and preparation of Emergency Response Plans are our only weapons in this battle. Academic studies, as well as newspaper accounts, prove that survival rates increase significantly in those locations where public awareness has been raised, where CPR has been administered, where an AED has been deployed and where an Emergency Response Plan has been carried out. The time has come when we can no longer hope for a successful outcome. We must plan and prepare to respond to sudden cardiac arrest when and where it strikes.

Sudden cardiac arrest knows no boundaries and has no limitations. It strikes both the young and the old at alarming rates. Approximately 350,000 Americans each year, about 6,000 of them being young people, fall victim to it. It does not discriminate by age, race or gender. We all understand that there is very little, if anything, that we can do to prevent it from striking. All that we can do is to educate others how to fight back when it strikes.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association also recognizes its responsibility to provide comfort, support and resources to the families of those who have lost dear ones and friends. Programs have been developed, and new programs are coming, in recognition of the unique situations and needs which face them.

During this most critical month of October, when Congress has called upon us to raise awareness of this crisis, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association and its leadership acknowledge all of the selfless and wonderful work being performed by its members and chapters across the United States. It is now our duty, our responsibility, to carry on our work by continuing to give people a second chance at life and to create many more re-birthdays. To those amongst us who have been impacted by this disease, we owe, and we renew our commitment to, this obligation. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to survive have a responsibility to lead this charge. As I have said many times, everybody has a birthday. Only a very few amongst us are very fortunate enough to have a re-birthday as well. Let’s commit ourselves to making sure that we can create many more of these.

For further information about this Disease, to donate to help the fight against it, or if you are interested in joining the fight, please contact us at

Written By: Steven B. Tannenbaum
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Board Chair