The Top Myths About Sudden Cardiac Arrest [PDF Download]

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, yet there are still a lot of misconceptions about what it is and how it happens. In this blog post, we’re going to dispel some of the most common myths about sudden cardiac arrest so that you can be better informed about this potentially life-threatening condition.

Myth #1: Sudden cardiac arrest is the same as a heart attack.

Fact: While a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, the two conditions are not the same. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, while sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical problem in the heart that disrupts its normal pumping action.

Infographic showing the difference between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and a Heart Attack.

Click image to download PDF

Myth #2: Only older adults are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

Fact: While the risk of sudden cardiac arrest does increase with age, it can happen to anyone at any age. In fact, young athletes are especially at risk since they may have undiagnosed heart conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

Myth #3: You have to be in good shape to survive sudden cardiac arrest.

Fact: Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, regardless of their fitness level. However, being in good shape does increase your chances of survival because it means your heart is healthy and less likely to develop an electrical problem.

Myth #4: There’s nothing you can do if someone has sudden cardiac arrest.

Fact: One of the biggest myths about sudden cardiac arrest is that there’s nothing bystanders can do to help. This simply isn’t true! If you see someone having sudden cardiac arrest, the most important thing to do is call 9-1-1 immediately and then begin performing CPR until medical help arrives. According to the American Heart Association, performing CPR on someone in sudden cardiac arrest can double or even triple their chance of survival.

Myth #5: There’s nothing you can do to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

Fact: While there is no guaranteed way to prevent sudden cardiac arrest, there are some things you can do to lower your risk. These include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, you should also talk to your doctor about your risks and what you can do to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.


Sudden cardiac arrest is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects people of all ages. However, there are still many myths about what it is and how it happens. By understanding the facts about sudden cardiac arrest, you can be better prepared in the event that it happens to you or someone you know.

Written by Blaire

Written by Blaire Kingsmore
Customer Service Director

Blaire graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology- Child and Family Studies. She has been in the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) industry for over eight years and is the Director of Customer Service. Blaire is also an American Red Cross certified CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor, highly trained by each manufacturer on their specific AEDs, and knowledgeable regarding ALL State AED regulations and legislation.“Every day I come to work, I know I am playing a part in saving someone’s life. I’m passionate about these devices and am always looking for new and innovative ways to spread awareness and knowledge about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I look forward to the day when everywhere I go, I will see an AED—when SCA will no longer take any lives.”

Last updated October 15th, 2022