Majority of Americans unaware of effective treatment options to protect against sudden cardiac arrest, HRS survey shows


The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) has released results from a survey which shows a lack of awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and the treatment options in the United States. The survey has shown that 75% of Americans are unaware that an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is an effective treatment option to protect those at risk of SCA.

In order to raise awareness for SCA, the HRS highlights this month (October) its annual “Apples and Oranges” campaign, which also seeks to educate the general public about risk factors and life-saving therapies.

According to HRS, sudden cardiac arrest claims one life every 90 seconds, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer and AIDS combined. Yet, more than 65% of Americans not only underestimate the seriousness of SCA, but also mistakenly believe SCA is a type of heart attack.

“The Heart Rhythm Society is working to educate the public and help raise awareness for those who may be at the greatest risk of SCA in order to help decrease the number of lives claimed each year,” said Anne M Gillis, president of the Heart Rhythm Society. “It is important for everyone to know that there are life-saving devices and highly-trained heart rhythm specialists to help people assess their risk and determine appropriate therapies.”

For more information about HRS and SCA, please visit the newly re-launched
website. now offers more interactive features and customised content for patients and clinicians.