Treatment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a medical emergency. Most people who have Sudden Cardiac Arrest die from it—often within minutes. Immediate treatment with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a defibrillator (a device that sends an electric shock to the heart) can be lifesaving.

There are two types of defibrillators:

  • An external defibrillator is a small portable device that uses electrode pads to diagnose an abnormal heart rhythm and deliver an electric shock if needed. External defibrillators are used in public places like schools, airports and hotels. Untrained bystanders can use these devices to deliver an electric shock to the chest of someone having Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

  • An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) such as an S-ICD is a surgically implanted device that can sense irregular or dangerous heartbeats and deliver life-saving shocks to help return the rhythm to normal.

Only 1 out of 20 people survive Sudden Cardiac Arrest Only 1 out of 20 people survive Sudden Cardiac Arrest


Only 1 in 20 people usually survives a sudden cardiac arrest event. The other 19 people die before reaching the hospital.
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With an ICD device like S-ICD 19 out of 20 survives Sudden Cardiac Arrest With an ICD device like S-ICD 19 out of 20 survives Sudden Cardiac Arrest


With an ICD device, 19 out of 20 people may survive Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Defibrillation has been shown to effectively stop 95% or more of dangerously fast heart rhythms.2

Even in the best emergency response conditions, Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a difficult condition to treat. Consider these facts:

  • About half of all cardiac arrests are not witnessed; the victim was alone1
  • More than 80% of cardiac arrests occur at home or in non-public places, such as at the office1
  • Reported survival from out-of-hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest ranges from 0% to 51%, with a national average of only 8%3

Are you at risk for another episode?

It’s important to know that if you've already experienced Sudden Cardiac Arrest, you're at high risk for having another episode. But even if you haven’t had Sudden Cardiac Arrest, if you have risk factors for Sudden Cardiac Arrest, your doctor may recommend the same type of treatment. Research shows that an ICD such as the S-ICD greatly reduces the chances of dying from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Hear from S-ICD patients.

Meet real S-ICD patients as they share their stories and personal journeys.

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