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Every year, more than 350,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest, when the heart stops beating without any warning. In the agonizing moments before paramedics arrive, there's no blood circulating in the body to deliver oxygen to the brain and other organs; death is just minutes away.
"When the cardiac arrest occurs outside of a hospital setting, the survival rate ranges from 2% to 15%," says Dr. Kei Ouchi, an emergency physician at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
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