Cardiac Arrest Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
The heart is the most vital organ in the human body and it functions constantly for your entire lifetime. Naturally, most of the heart problems like heart attack, cardiac arrest etc. require urgent medical assistance because they are considered to be an emergency condition that requires urgent medical assistance.
So, what makes a cardiac arrest so critical? Let’s read more about the condition.
What is a cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest, also known as sudden cardiac arrest, is a medical condition where your heart stops beating all of a sudden. Electrical impulses control your heartbeat. If any abnormality occurs due to a malfunction with these electric signals, it can result in cardiac arrest. As your heart stops beating, all your vital organs, including the brain, are deprived of oxygen.
It is one of the greatest medical emergencies. If it is not treated immediately, it becomes fatal quickly. Cardiac arrest has a very high mortality rate across the world.
Is cardiac arrest different from a heart attack?
Cardiac arrest and heart attack are two terms that are often used interchangeably. But, technically speaking, these two terms refer to two entirely different health conditions. The only similarity between them is that they both are life-threatening medical conditions. However, these two conditions are often closely linked.
A cardiac arrest, as mentioned earlier, is a problem with the electric signals of the heart which makes the heart stop beating. On the other hand, a heart attack occurs when the blood flow into the heart is blocked, making it deprived of oxygen-rich blood. Heart muscles suffer from damage after a heart attack. A person suffering from a heart attack is at high risk of getting a cardiac arrest as well.
What are the symptoms of cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest sometimes comes with pre-cardiac arrest symptoms. You might suddenly feel very tired, dizzy, breathless, nauseated or even have immense chest pain. But cardiac arrest might not show prior symptoms.
However, a person suffering from a cardiac arrest will show the following sudden and extreme symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- No breathing
- No pulse
Some of these symptoms like collapse, blackout etc. might even be indicators of other health conditions. So, there is no need to panic. But to be on the safe side, always call for medical help.
What are the causes of cardiac arrest?
Mainly the causes of cardiac arrest are issues related to the heart, but other non-cardiac causes can also prompt a heart attack. Here are the factors which might lead to a cardiac arrest.
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Arrhythmia i.e. abnormal heart beating
- Narrowed arteries of the heart
- Structural defects in the heart
- Congenital heart defects
- Inflammation of the heart muscles
- Lack of oxygen supply
- Drug abuse
- Severe loss of blood, internally or externally
- Intense exercise if you have a heart condition
- Genetic predisposition
- High levels of potassium or magnesium
- Major physical or emotional trauma
Is there any treatment for cardiac arrest?
The treatment for cardiac arrest begins immediately. If you see a person showing the symptoms of a cardiac arrest, call for help. IMMEDIATELY! Call for an ambulance or medical assistance and also call out aloud so that if there is anyone around you with any kind of training/experience in such a case, they will come out to help. Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition – a few minutes delay can end it all! You cannot waste any time.
Until help arrives, you might try CPR on the patient. It’s always wise to know how to perform basic CPR.
A cardiac arrest will first be attended with a defibrillator. A defibrillator is a medical device that sends high voltage electric signals to shock the heart to work normally again. However, a defibrillator should only be used by an expert.
Later in the hospital, when the immediate threat is under control, the doctors will investigate your case to figure out the root cause of the attack and the style of treatment will differ from thereon.
As you age, your chances of getting a cardiac arrest increase too. But that does not mean that if you are too young, you are safe. Anyone can suffer from a cardiac arrest. There is no assured way to prevent a cardiac arrest. But you can make some effort to reduce your chances. Healthy food and adequate liquids are recommended. A regularised exercise plan and a healthy lifestyle will drastically reduce your chances of suffering from a cardiac arrest.
To know more or have any heart problems consult our heart specialist at Premier Hospital. We have experience in treating thousands of patients with various heart problems. In our cardiology department, we have the best heart specialists in Hyderabad. They can handle any heart problem ranging from chest pain to heart transplants for severe cases of heart disease. Call 040-23515100 or +91-83747 18100 to book an appointment with the best cardiologists in Hyderabad.
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Santosh Kumar Paila