Free shipping on online orders of $99+
30 Vital Statistics on Cardiac Arrest and AEDs to Be Informed About

30 Vital Statistics on Cardiac Arrest and AEDs to Be Informed About

Cardiac arrest statistics

Statistics show that SCA remains a significant contributor to mortality and long-term disability globally, despite the presence of AEDs and CPR training. Knowing the latest statistics and factors that impact survival rates can equip you to effectively respond in life-saving situations.

Sources of Cardiac Arrest Statistics

The statistics featured in this article are sourced from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) 2005-2015, the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), and primarily from the 2022 Update of the American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Statistics.

Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Incidents

Adult Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCAs)

  • There are around 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the United States each year.
  • Nearly 90% of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests are fatal.
  • The most common location for OHCA is in the home. According to CARES data from 2020, 73.9% of cardiac arrests in adults occurred in a residence, 15.1% in a public place, and 10.9% in nursing homes.

Pediatric Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests

  • According to a data analysis published in the Resuscitation Journal, around 23,514 OHCAs occurred in children in 2016. (source, USA)
  • 87.5% of pediatric cardiac arrests occurred in the home and 12.2% in a public place (CARES, USA, 2020).

SCA, SCD, and Sports

SCA and SCD in Athletes of All Ages

  • Sudden cardiac death occurs in around 1 in 40,000 to 1 in 80,000 athletes per year (source, review of studies on athletes aged 9-40 years).
  • Men, black athletes, and basketball players have a statistically higher risk of sudden cardiac death (source, review of studies on athletes aged 9-40 years).

Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young Athletes

  • 39% of sudden cardiac arrest cases in minors were sports-related (Portland, OR, 2002-2015).
  • Only 1.47% of 5,169 middle and high school students screened had a high-risk cardiovascular condition (USA, 2010-2017).
  • The most common heart conditions that caused SCA in young athletes in the USA between 1980 and 2011 were:
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    • Coronary artery abnormalities
    • Myocarditis
    • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Commotio Cordis (AHA Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2019 update)

Effect of COVID-19 on Cardiac Arrest Numbers

  • There were three times as many out-of-hospital cardiac arrests attended by emergency medical services in New York City between March 1-April 25, 2020 compared to the year before.
  • CARES data shows that CPR for OHCA was more likely to be delayed once the pandemic began and fewer bystanders used an automated external defibrillator compared to the same time a year before.
  • A systematic review referenced in the European Resuscitation Council Guidelines – Executive Summary 2021 reported similar patterns in Europe: An increased incidence of OHCA and reduced use of AEDs compared to the year before. Additionally, ambulance response times were longer, and fewer SCA patients had AED shockable rhythms.

Role of Bystanders in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Response

  • A victim’s chances of survival drop by 10-15% with each minute that cardiopulmonary resuscitation is delayed (source 1, a Southwestern U.S. city and a Northwestern U.S. county, 1997, source 2, Norway, 1998-2001).
  • Bystander CPR administered within minutes of cardiac arrest can double or triple survival rates and lead to better neurological outcomes one month after the event (source 1, Japan, 2005-2007, source 2, Sweden, 1990-2002).
  • Bystander CPR was administered in 40.8% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in 2020. The highest rates of bystander CPR were observed in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Vermont (CARES, USA).
  • Lower rates of bystander CPR were reported for low-income Black neighborhoods and predominantly Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods compared to high-income White neighborhoods.
  • An automated external defibrillator was used by a layperson in 9% of OHCAs in 2020 up from an average of 5.8% between 2011 and 2020 (CARES, USA). The easy-to-use design of AEDs like the Philips HeartStart FRx and HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P, along with an increase in AED-friendly laws, could be part of the reason that more AEDs are being deployed successfully before EMS teams arrive.

Cardiac Arrests Within Hospital Settings

  • The top causes of in-hospital cardiac arrest from 2000 to 2002 were cardiac arrhythmia, acute respiratory insufficiency, and hypotension (source, USA).
  • Only 14% of children and 23% of adults who suffered in-hospital cardiac arrest had an AED shockable rhythm as the first documented pulseless rhythm before the onset of pulseless electrical activity or asystole (source, USA and Canada, 2000-2004).
  • Of those adults and children who had ventricular fibrillation, only 1.4% were administered an initial shock (source, USA and Canada, 2000-2004).
  • Over 80% of in-hospital cardiac arrest cases were fatal (source, USA and Canada, 2000-2004).
  • Pediatric patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest had higher survival rates than adults (source, USA and Canada, 2000-2004).
  • Adults who survived in-hospital events had better neurological outcomes than children (source, USA and Canada, 2000-2004).

Clinical Outcome of Cardiac Arrest Cases

  • According to 2020 data from CARES, survival to hospital discharge in EMS-treated OHCA was:
    • 9% for adults (7% with good functional status)
    • 6.5% for infants 0-11 months
    • 14.4% for children 1-12
    • 21.2% for children 13-18
  • According to a registry of paramedic responses between 2009 and 2014, 43.8% of athletes survived to hospital discharge after a sudden cardiac arrest that occurred during competitive sports.
  • Functional recovery after SCA takes at least 12 months for children and 6 to 12 months for adults.
  • Survivors of sudden cardiac arrest in a cohort study of 141 people experienced:
    • Severe cognitive deficits (13%)
    • Depression and anxiety (15%)
    • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress (28%)
    • Severe fatigue (52%)
    • Return to work after 12 months (72%)

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Training

  • 65% of Americans report having been trained in standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation at some point.
  • Hispanic/Latino, elderly, lower-income, and less educated groups report lower levels of training in adult basic life support.

Taking Action Based on Cardiac Arrest Statistics

Going by these recent statistics, cardiac arrest remains a significant cause of death and reduced quality of life despite increased awareness and access to AEDs.

To reduce deaths from sudden cardiac arrest, it’s important to:

  • Prepare more rapid response teams specifically for SCA.
  • Provide mandatory CPR training in all high schools around the nation.
  • Improve nutrition and exercise in the population, thus reducing many of the risk factors for SCA.

To lower the number of SCA-related deaths in hospitals, further research is needed on the topics of:

  • Early defibrillation
  • Emergency medicine
  • Emergency cardiovascular care
  • Pediatric advanced life support
  • Advanced life support drugs

The main conclusion from the cardiac arrest statistics is to become (or update) CPR and AED training in order to be prepared to respond in an emergency situation. It’s impossible to predict when you might witness someone fall unconscious or find them unconscious, but being equipped with the knowledge and skills of performing chest compressions and using an AED could be the determining factor in saving their life.

Disclaimer for information purposes only:

Our website provides information for general knowledge and informational purposes only. We do not offer medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Readers should consult with qualified healthcare professionals for personalized medical advice.

While we endeavor to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided, we do not guarantee its completeness or suitability for any specific purpose. The use of this website is at the reader’s own risk.

By accessing and using this website, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the website owners, authors, contributors, and affiliates from any claims, damages, liabilities, losses, or expenses resulting from your use of the information presented herein.

You May Also Like

Preventing Cardiac Arrest: Is it Possible?

Can cardiac arrest be prevented

Differentiating Between Respiratory and Cardiac Arrest

Respiratory arrest vs cardiac arrest

The Sensations of Cardiac Arrest

What does cardiac arrest feel like