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What to do if you see someone suddenly collapse.

First, check to see if the victim is responsive. If not, remember these three easy steps.

Call 911

Call 911

Have them send help. Stay on the line and listen for further instructions.

Start Chest Compressions

Start Chest Compressions

With one hand on top of the other, fingers laced together, push down hard and fast in the center of the chest with your arms straight. In the meantime, send someone to search for an AED.

Use an AED

Use An AED

The AED (automated external defibrillator) is a portable medical device that delivers an electrical shock to restart a person's heart. It provides voice prompts that tell you exactly what to do and will only administer a shock if needed, so there's no reason to hesitate.


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HeartRescue Project

The HeartRescue Project, funded by the Medtronic Foundation, is dedicated to improving how sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is recognized, treated and measured in the United States. Community response education is an important component of the program's mission. For more information about SCA, including education videos and training programs, please visit HeartRescue Project.

Special Thanks

We wanted to give a special thanks to HeartRescue Partners: University of Arizona, Duke University, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington and American Medical Response (AMR).

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Knowledge Is Power

To learn more about SCA prevention, heart screening and SCA treatment, many of our partners offer great information and resources:

Anyone Can Save A Life, Parent Heart Watch, Nick of Time Foundation, Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation, American Heart Association's Be the Beat program, SCA Foundation
For more information sources, click here.


Meet SCA Survivors

Hear their stories

Although SCA can happen to anyone at any time, there is hope of survival. These people are alive today, thanks to fast-acting bystanders who knew how to respond correctly. Learn from their inspiring stories and you'll be better prepared in the future.

Get The Word Out

Watch our PSA

The HeartRescue Project has created a public service announcement to draw attention to one of the nation's leading killers, sudden cardiac arrest, and to explain what we can do to help increase the chances of survival.


A young athlete dies every 3 days in the United States from sudden cardiac arrest.*

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes. In many cases, the victim appears healthy at the time of collapse, yet only 1 in 10 survives. However, when bystanders respond quickly, survival rates improve dramatically.

Bystander action is critical when sudden cardiac arrest strikes. By simulating a real-world sudden cardiac arrest, the Save-A-Life Simulator allows visitors to learn the basics of SCA response. Take action now, and learn how to save a life.

Cardiac arrest in young people is often caused by an underlying heart problem. Athletes and their families can benefit from knowing some of the most common warning signs and risk factors of sudden cardiac arrest.

Common Warning Signs

  • Fainting or near-fainting, excessive dizziness or shortness of breath during or immediately after exercise
  • Unusual chest pain or chest discomfort with exercise
  • Unexplained heart murmur or high blood pressure
  • Close relatives with heart-related condition such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, long QT syndrome or Marfan syndrome
  • A family history of sudden cardiac death

*Drezner, Jonathan, et al. Inter-Association Task Force Recommendations on Emergency Preparedness and Management of
Sudden Cardiac Arrest in High School and College Athletic Programs: A Consensus Statement. Heart Rhythm Society. 2007;4:549-565.


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