The Impact of Ambulance Response Times on SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest)

The Impact of Ambulance Response Times on SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest)

Pic of ambulance


When it comes to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), every second counts. In Australia, the efficiency of ambulance response times¹ plays a crucial role in saving lives. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of ambulance response times in relation to SCA and how it impacts patient outcomes.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It is different from a heart attack, which is caused by a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the heart. SCA can happen to anyone, regardless of age or pre-existing health conditions.

Why are Ambulance Response Times Important?

During a sudden cardiac arrest, every minute without treatment reduces the chances of survival by 10%. This is where ambulance response times play a critical role. The faster the ambulance arrives at the scene, the sooner life-saving interventions can be initiated.

Ambulance Response Time Standards in Australia

In Australia, ambulance response times are measured based on the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT). NEAT sets a benchmark for ambulance response times, aiming for 90% of emergency cases to receive a response within 15 minutes. For cases classified as immediately life-threatening, the target is 10 minutes.

The Impact of Ambulance Response Times on SCA

Studies have shown that prompt ambulance response times significantly improve survival rates for SCA patients. In fact, research conducted in Australia found that for every minute saved in response time, the chances of survival increased by 9%. This highlights the importance of efficient emergency medical services in saving lives.

Factors Affecting Ambulance Response Times

Several factors can impact ambulance response times, including traffic conditions, distance to the nearest ambulance station, and availability of resources. In urban areas, where traffic congestion is common, response times may be longer compared to rural areas.

Improving Ambulance Response Times

Efforts are being made to improve ambulance response times in Australia. This includes strategic placement of ambulance stations, optimizing dispatch systems, and utilizing technology to track and monitor response times. Additionally, public education on the importance of calling emergency services promptly can also contribute to faster response times.


Ambulance response times play a crucial role in the survival of sudden cardiac arrest patients in Australia. Every minute saved in response time increases the chances of survival. It is essential for emergency medical services to continue their efforts in improving response times and ensuring timely interventions for SCA patients. By working together, we can make a difference and save more lives.



1. Our Performance | Ambulance Victoria

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.