The most common electrophysiologic mechanisms leading to SCD are tachyarrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). Interruption of tachyarrhythmias, using either an automatic external defibrillator (AED) or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), has been shown to be an effective treatment for VF and VT. The implantable defibrillator has become the central therapeutic factor in the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death.
Patients with tachyarrhythmias, especially VT, carry the best overall prognosis among patients with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).In 1992, 53% (8194) of coronary heart disease deaths among Hispanic Americans 25 years of age and older occurred outside of the hospital or in emergency rooms. The percentage was lower among Hispanics than among non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks. Age-adjusted rates per 100,000 were lower in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic Whites or Blacks (Hispanic men, 75; White men, 166; Black men, 209; Hispanic women, 35; White women, 74; Black women, 108). The percentages dying outside of the hospital or in emergency rooms were higher in young persons, those living in nonurban areas, and those who were single.