It is estimated that over 5,000 people die of sudden cardiac death in Ireland each year. Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is defined as death due to natural causes within an hour of the onset of symptoms, in the absence of any other cause, and assumed to have a cardiac cause. The majority of SCDs occur from late middle age onwards as a result of coronary heart disease. A minority of deaths occur in people under 40 years.
Survival rates following a cardiac arrest at any age are directly related to time to resuscitation and particularly defibrillation. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been proven to be of extreme benefit in increasing the chances of survival from sudden cardiac arrest. AEDs strategically placed throughout the community and in priority facilities, such as GP practices, sports clubs, airports and shopping centres, along with people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED use can greatly increase the time to response to a sudden collapse.
Click on the links on this page to read or download the Task Force report.