Carolinas HealthCare System

Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute
Saturday’s Walk with a Doc Will Focus on Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Last July, Omar Carter suffered SCA when his heart stopped beating while playing in a basketball game. Omar’s life was saved by Kelly Thomas, a cardiac intensive care nurse at Carolinas Medical Center who happened to be watching.  Read the full story.

Local sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survivors, including former Appalachian State University basketball player Omar Carter, will attend Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute’s Walk with a Doc Saturday, October 12 at 9 a.m.

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. The condition results in more than 350,000 deaths each year and claims more lives than breast cancer, lung cancer, or AIDS.

The walk will be held at Freedom Park and is free and open to the public. It will include presentations by physicians, staff and patients of Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, part of Carolinas HealthCare System.

Attendees will learn how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of SCA, and ways to prevent the onset of the condition. Physicians and staff from the Institute will demonstrate how to perform CPR and use automatic external defibrillators (AED) which are critical to anyone who experiences an episode of SCA.

Rohit Mehta, MD, adult cardiologist, started Walk with a Doc at Carolinas HealthCare System to promote regular exercise and wellness, along with physician engagement. Since its inception in Charlotte, Walk with A Doc has spread to the Lincolnton and Kings Mountain communities.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Facts 

More than 350,000 deaths occur each year as a result of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). More than 65 percent of Americans think that SCA is a type of heart attack. However, SCA is not the same as a heart attack.

  • SCA occurs when the heart stops beating, which results in a stoppage of blood flow to the brain and other vital organs.  Heart attack occurs when the blood vessel is blocked, causing an area of the heart muscle to die. 
  • Heart attack survivors are at the highest risk for SCA.
  • Signs of SCA include: falling to the ground/collapsing, unresponsiveness, abnormal or lack of breathing.
  • Time-to-treatment is critical for surviving an episode of SCA: Nearly 95 percent of those who experience SCA die because they don’t receive life-saving defibrillation within 4-6 minutes, during which time brain and permanent death can occur.
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