Sudden cardiac arrest - Symptoms and causes

Published By :  Divya Valluru Image Image
Sudden cardiac arrest - Symptoms and causes
Monday Feb 26, 2018 Image source : Wikipedia
What is a cardiac arrest ?

Cardiac arrest, also called sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), is a medical emergency that occurs when the heart unexpectedly stops pumping blood to the brain and other vital organs causing unconsciousness and abnormal breathing. It can strike without warning and death can occur in less than six minutes.  

What causes it ?

The foremost cause of cardiac arrest is abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. Other possible causes of cardiac arrest include – coronary artery disease, heart attack, physical stress, major blood loss, lack of oxygen, intense physical exercise, and some inherited disorders etc. 

There are clear factors that may put you at risk of SCA, including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, alcoholism, a sedentary lifestyle.

Symptoms and Signs of Cardiac Arrest 

Cardiac arrest occurs without prior symptoms. Some people may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or nausea.

Risk factors for cardiac arrest !

There are many risk factors associated with Cardiac arrest. These include

  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Previous cardiac arrest or heart attack
  • Increased age (65 or older)
  • Illegal drug use

Can Cardiac Arrest be prevented ?

The best prevention against SCA is leading a healthy lifestyle such as – eating a nutritious, balanced diet and staying physically active. 
Screening for heart disease, especially, if you have a family history
Maintaining a healthy weight
Not smoking.

What to do if someone has SCA?

If you see someone collapse with cardiac arrest, immediately call for medical help or ask a bystander to do it.  Be calm, and check to see if the person is able to respond to you. Get an automatic external defibrillator (AED) if one is close by, and use it according to its instructions. Immediate CPR will help restore partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and other vital organs. You can stop if he begins breathing.

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