Early detection of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is critical to prevent serious repercussion such as irreversible neurological damage and death. Currently, the most effective method involves analyzing electrocardiogram (ECG) features obtained during ventricular fibrillation. In this study, data from 10 normal patients and 10 SCA patients obtained from Physiobank were used to statistically compare features, such as heart rate, R-R interval duration, and heart rate variability (HRV) features from which the HRV features were then selected for classification via linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and linear and fine Gaussian support vector machines (SVM) in order to determine the ideal time-frame in which SCA can be accurately detected. The best accuracy was obtained at 2 and 8 min prior to SCA onset across all three classifiers. However, accuracy rates of 75–80% were also obtained at time-frames as early as 50 and 40 min prior to SCA onset. These results are clinically important in the field of SCA, as early detection improves overall patient survival.