- Cardiac arrest is the sudden loss of heart function, further leading to cessation of breathing and consciousness. It usually results from an electrical disturbance that has affected your heart and its pumping activity. The arrest further stops blood circulation in your body.
- Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, the latter of which happens when blood circulation to some areas of the heart is blocked. In any case, a heart attack can trigger an electrical disturbance that prompts sudden cardiac arrest.
- Cardiac arrest is an medical emergency. If not treated promptly, it causes sudden cardiac death. With quick medical care, survival is conceivable. Giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), treating with a defibrillator, or even giving compression to the chest, can enhance the odds of survival until the point that emergency staff arrive.
Cardiac arrest has the following immediate signs and symptoms:
- Sudden collapse
- No pulse
- Not breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Symptoms that may occur before a cardiac arrest may include the following:
- Chest Pain
- Shortness Of Breath
Sometimes, cardiac arrest can occur without a warning.
If you have sudden cardiac arrest and if you are able to survive, your doctor will need to explore what has caused the cardiac arrest. Recognizing the fundamental issue may help avert future cardiac arrests.
Tests may be ordered such as the following:
- Blood tests such as electrolyte panel, hormones and others
- Imaging tests such as chest X-ray, echocardiogram and nuclear scan
- Other tests such as electrical system (electrophysiological) testing and mapping, coronary catheterization (angiogram), and ejection fraction testing.
Sudden cardiac requires quick medical care for survival.
Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation is done to treat sudden cardiac arrest.
Defibrillation is a type of advanced medical care for ventricular fibrillation, a cardiac arrhythmia that causes sudden cardiac arrest. This is done by delivering electric shock to the heart through the chest.
Long-term treatment may be needed if you recover. These treatments may include the following:
- Drugs such as beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers or a drug called amiodarone
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
- Coronary angioplasty
- Coronary bypass surgery
- Radiofrequency catheter ablation
- Corrective heart surgery