It is estimated that one person in a population of 300,000 dies unexpectedly from cardiac disease before reaching the hospital everyday. The electrical signals that cause the heartbeat become chaotic and the heart stops pumping blood. The brain is deprived of oxygen and damage becomes so extensive only after a few minutes that long-term survival is no longer possible.
The electric shock given by an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) can cause the heart to start beating again. Time is critical after cardiac arrest and each minute the shock is delayed reduces the chances of restarting the heart by almost 10%.
Also, CPR can help to buy some more minutes until the AED arrives.
For the trauma cases, the main goal of the emergency care provider is to prevent additional cord damage during the pre hospital phases of trauma treatment. Otherwise it may result in further deterioration of the spinal cord.
Advances in emergency medical training, continuing education and proper equipment may reduce the risk of additional cord damage.