Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness in a person, usually resulting from an electrical disturbance. It can come on suddenly or in the wake of other symptoms, often fatal if appropriate steps are not taken immediately.
Although it is often mistaken for a heart attack caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart, a heart attack refers to the death of heart muscle tissue due to a lack of blood supply. However, a heart attack can sometimes trigger an electrical disturbance, leading to a sudden cardiac arrest.
What causes cardiac arrest?
It is caused by abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), which happens when the electrical system in the heart is not working properly. Although not all abnormal heart rhythms are lethal, some mean that the heart cannot pump blood around the body. Other causes of cardiac arrest are;
- Blood vessels abnormalities
- Thickened heart including
- Scarring of the heart tissue
- Electrical abnormalities
- Heart medications
Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest usually occurs with no warning or sign, which can be drastic ;
- No breathing
- Sudden collapse
- Loss of consciousness
Other signs and symptoms that could occur before cardiac arrest might include the following;
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Palpitations (fluttering or pounding of the heart)
What to do to prevent cardiac arrest?
First, you have to make certain lifestyle changes which is the most effective way to prevent cardiac arrest or experiencing another cardiac arrest. Things that can be done to prevent a cardiac arrest;
- Living tobacco-free
- Get enough sleep
- Maintain a moderate weight
- Treat other health issues
- A healthy and balanced diet
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Keep your blood pressure under control
If not treated immediately, cardiac arrest can lead to death. Speak to a doctor immediately.
Survival is attainable with required and fast medical care. Giving the patient compression to the chest or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can increase the chances of survival until the appropriate emergency help comes.