Cardiac arrest is the number one killer in India, and can be controlled only by administering proper cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a health expert said on Sunday.

“With the increasing lifestyle pressures in today’s day and age, the incidence of cardiac arrest is on the rise. An increasing number of people living in urban households and the younger generation are becoming victims of cardiac death,” cardiac surgeon K.K. Aggarwal said.

Cardiac arrest takes an estimated 25 lakh lives annually.

According to data revealed by the Delhi Economic Survey, 150-250 deaths happen in the city every single day.

Out of these, 25-45 deaths occur suddenly with 60 percent of the people dying before they reach the hospital and the largest number due to cardiac arrest.

“While prevention is key and awareness needs to be generated about how lifestyle modifications are a must for healthy heart health, what most people are not aware of is that death is reversible within the first 10 minutes of a cardiac arrest,” Aggarwal said.

Only CPR compresses the heart between the sternum and the backbone and builds up pressure that keeps the oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and keeps the person alive until a defibrillator becomes available or expert medical help arrives.

“It is important to act quickly, for every minute lost reduces the chances of revival by 10 percent,” he added.

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