What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) happens when the heart suddenly stops beating because of a problem in its electrical system.


A person's heart will stop beating without warning when they suffer SCA. They will collapse, lose consciousness and look extremely pale.

Causes of SCA

Sudden cardiac arrest strikes without warning, regardless of age, killing 100,000 Brits every year.

It requires immediate treatment to keep blood pumping and to restart the heart to prevent brain damage and death. 

SCA happens because of a problem in the heart’s electrical system. The problem is caused by an abnormal heart rhythm; or cardiac arrhythmia. The most common arrhythmia that leads to SCA is called ventricular fibrillation (VF).

During a case of VF, the heart’s rhythm is so fast that its unable to pump blood to the body and brain effectively. Therefore, defibrillation is urgently needed to prevent death.


Get in touch for more help and information

+44 (0) 1789 867 501info@heartrhythmalliance.org


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