Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

What is Cardiac Arrest?

When someone has a cardiac arrest, they stop breathing and their blood pressure drops. They may also have a seizure or lose consciousness.

What is A Cardiac Arrest?

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops working. This serious heart condition can happen without a warning. The heart stops beating during a cardiac arrest and restricts blood to flow to the brain and other parts of the body. This condition happens because of a problem in the electrical system of the heart. Cardiac arrest reduces blood flow and progresses to a stage when there is no blood flow to the entire body. A cardiac arrest can be very sudden. It makes the patient unconscious and can even lead to sudden death.

Cardiac arrest is an extreme and sudden medical emergency and condition where the heart stops functioning and there is an unexpected loss of breathing and consciousness. Cardiac arrest and heart attack are most often confused to be the same, but they are not.

Symptoms of cardiac arrest

A sudden cardiac arrest can happen with no signs or symptoms. But sometimes, there are chances that the patient may experience some a little before cardiac arrest. Some of these symptoms may include;

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Fainting, blackouts, dizziness
  3. Fatigue and weakness
  4. Racing heartbeat
  5. Vomiting

Emergency and sudden cardiac symptoms

  1. Chest pain and palpitations
  2. Loss of consciousness
  3. No pulse,
  4. Shortness of breath or no breathing
  5. Person may collapse
  6. Vomiting

In such a situation, it is very important to seek medical help. Anyone with these symptoms should be treated immediately to avoid death.

Risks factors of cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating. It happens when the electrical system is inside the heart malfunctions. Learn more about what risk factors of cardiac arrest are and how to prevent it!

Cardiac arrest causes include:

  1. Personal or family history of forms of heart disease
  2. Smoking
  3. High blood pressure
  4. High blood cholesterol
  5. Obesity
  6. Diabetes
  7. A sedentary lifestyle
  8. Alcohol
  9. Increasing age
  10. Males – two to three times more likely to experience sudden cardiac arrest
  11. Drug abuse of cocaine or amphetamines
  12. Nutritional imbalance of low potassium or magnesium levels

Diagnosis of cardiac arrest

  1. Electrocardiogram
  2. Blood tests to check the levels of potassium, magnesium, hormones, and other chemicals that may affect your heart’s ability to function properly.
  3. Imaging tests like chest X-ray, echocardiogram, nuclear scan
  4. Other tests like Electrical system (electrophysiological) testing and mapping, coronary catheterisation (angiogram), ejection fraction testing.

What to do during a cardiac arrest emergency?

A cardiac arrest differs from a heart attack. It is a serious condition that needs medical help instantly. The patient can be given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help pump the blood when the heart does not work. But one should not delay in seeking medical help. Any kind of medical help within a few minutes may save the life of the patient. Rush the patient to the hospital immediately in such a situation.

“Cardiac arrests differ from heart attacks. Whenever a patient collapses without a pulse, cardiac massage has to be started, and an ambulance has to be called immediately. An ambulance with a defibrillator and ventilator would be ideal.” 

Treatment of cardiac arrest

Cardiac Arrest prevention is the first step to treating it. When one experiences any symptoms, it is imperative that immediate cardiac arrest treatment be given by the best cardiac surgeons for survival.

  • CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is critical to treating sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Defibrillation
  • Long-term treatment of medications, implantation of cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and surgery like coronary angioplasty, coronary bypass surgery, radiofrequency catheter ablation, or corrective heart surgery.

Cardiac arrest prevention

  1. Quit smoking to preserve heart health: Smoking can affect one’s lungs and your heart health negatively. Smoking can lead to other severe complications as well. Therefore, it is advised to quit smoking for overall health.
  2. Eat healthily: A healthy and balanced diet can improve your heart health. Add more foods which are loaded with antioxidants. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best options that you can add to your dirt.
  3. Keep your cholesterol levels under check: Poor cholesterol levels are also a major factor responsible for heart diseases. Avoid processed foods and foods high in bad fats to keep your cholesterol balanced.
  4. Exercise: Regular exercising is the best way to stay healthy naturally. Exercise will ensure good heart health. It will also control other risk factors that can contribute to heart diseases.
Conclusion

A sudden cardiac arrest cannot be prevented; therefore, it is best to be aware of the various symptoms so that one can seek medical help on time.

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