Sudden Cardiac Arrest-What is it and what you can do about it

cardiacLife is full of uncertainties and in its lap comes joy and sorrow together. We can embrace anything except for the loss of life that happens suddenly due to mishaps stealing the spirit of a family forever. One such dread comes with cardiac arrest which is short, fierce, and sometimes powerful enough to take the life of the victim. You would have heard of a sudden death of someone that did not give enough time to seek treatment or do something and later that was discovered as a cardiac arrest.

According to cardiologists, if someone can identify the risk factors, symptoms, and act quickly to seek treatment immediately, the life can be saved. Keep yourself informed of what cardiac arrest is about and what all can be done to prevent it.

What is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a health condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly altering the flow of blood to other body parts. It is the effect of an electrical malfunction resulting in irregular heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmia. If not addressed and treated immediately, it may lead to sudden cardiac death.

Symptoms of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The symptoms are witnessed suddenly without any warning and are drastic. Mostly they include sudden collapse, no pulse, no breathing, and loss of consciousness. In some of the cases, these severe symptoms are accompanied with prior signs of chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, palpitations, and vomiting.

Is there any link between SCA and heart attack?

Yes, a person recovering from a heart attack or a heart attack survivor is at a greater risk of SCA. There are many heart conditions responsible for a SCA and heart attack is one of the most common reasons.  

“Time is Life” in Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Time-to-treatment is very crucial in determining the chances of survival of an SCA patient. In most of the cases, the patient goes not receive life-saving defibrillation within the time which initially leads to brain death and then gradually to permanent death. The patient should receive treatment within first 4 to 6 minutes to survive.

What Can You Do in a SCA Emergency?

  • Identify the symptoms and act quickly. The emergency arises without any warning making the victim unconscious, unresponsive, collapsing, and not breathing properly.
  • Call the emergency number immediately.
  • Don’t waste a single minute. Start doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as soon as possible. Conduct CPR with your hands compressing the chest of the patient in the middle. Do it hard and fast approximately 100 times in a minute. It can prove to be a lifesaver.
  • Try to carry the patient immediately to a hospital while continuing the hand CPR.
  • Try to help with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). This automated device can be used by non-medical people as well to save the life of a victim. These devices are installed in public places, airports, corporate houses, shopping malls, stadiums, gyms, hotels, schools, and other organizations.

Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest occurs without any warning sign. So, there is no immediate prevention for it, but with  certain lifestyle changes and preventive measures, we can decrease the likelihood of a person from becoming the victim of SCA.

  1. Embrace a healthy lifestyle: Maintain proper body weight, do physical activity, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking.
  2. Manage and monitor your health condition: If you had a heart attack or if you are suffering from conditions like diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, you need to be watchful and get yourself treated as soon as possible.
  3. Family history: Go for regular checkups if you have a family history of coronary heart disease.  

Find out your risk for SCA

Your doctor can perform a test called Ejection Fraction(EF) monitoring to find out whether anyone is at risk of this deadly condition. To a greater extent, the results can keep you alert to take the required preventive measures.

Keep yourself informed and talk about the cardiac arrest to generate awareness.

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