Glossary of Terms S – Z

Glossary of Terms S – Z

Semi-Automatic AED

An AED that requires the rescuer to press a button to deliver a shock. See also fully-automatic AED.

Sinus Node

A cluster of cells in the upper right atrium that generates electrical impulses and stimulates the heart to contract and pump blood.

Sinus Rhythm

A medical term to describe the normal beating of the heart.


A tube designed to be implanted in a vessel to help keep it open.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

The sudden, unexpected loss of the heart function, resulting in the loss of effective blood flow. SCA is usually caused by an electrical disturbance in the heart. If left untreated by defibrillation, SCA results in death.

Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD)

Death as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

A rapid rhythm of the heart, with a pulse of 150-250 beats per minute. The condition can last as long as a few minutes or even days. Treatment may come in the form of cardioversion.


A rapid heart rate, usually over 100 beats per minute.


A kind of drug that can break up or dissolve clots blocking the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Ideally, the drug should be administered within 90 minutes of being admitted for a heart attack.

Ventricular Fibrillation (VF)

The most common form of sudden cardiac arrest. A sudden, lethal arrhythmia in which chaotic electrical activity results in the ventricles fluttering rapidly and losing the ability to pump blood. The only cure for ventricular fibrillation is early defibrillation. VF is also known as V-fib.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

A congenital heart defect where an abnormal opening in the septum separates the ventricles.

Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)

A fast heart rhythm that originates in the ventricles. Also known as V-tach

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