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Increased Risk Factors for Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac Arrest Increases Among Obese People

Cardiac arrest is a sudden life-threatening event that can be fatal. Calling 911 and having someone perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or use a defibrillator can save lives.

Research has shown that reducing cardiovascular risk factors and treating unrecognized heart disease can reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death. But that doesn’t always happen.

1. Increased Substance Abuse

Substance abuse has many effects on overall health, but one of the most harmful impacts is in terms of cardiovascular health. Whether from alcohol or illicit drugs, long-term substance abuse can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications for the heart. This is why it’s important to understand the connection between drug addiction and heart disease so that individuals can make informed decisions about their future health.

For example, long-term cocaine use can lead to high blood pressure. Over time, this can increase the strain on the heart and can lead to heart failure or a tear in the aortic wall called an aortic dissection. In a recent study, researchers found that drug use is linked to higher rates of emergency department visits and hospital admissions for heart failure. The most significant increases in these incidences were observed for cannabis and psychostimulants (including stimulants like Adderall and cocaine). These substances put a heavy load on the heart and can accelerate cholesterol build-up in the arteries, explains Dr. Bhamidipati.

2. Increased Stress

Cardiac arrest happens when changes in the normal electrical activity of your heart cause it to stop beating. Without a beating heart, your body can’t get oxygen-carrying blood to the brain and other organs. Without immediate medical care, you can die within minutes. People who experience cardiac arrest often lose consciousness, have no breathing or a faint pulse (fainting).

In some cases, warning signs can occur before cardiac arrest, such as chest pain or fatigue. These can signal that there’s a problem with the arteries that carry blood to your heart. These problems may be caused by coronary artery disease, electrolyte abnormalities, heart muscle diseases or structural issues in the heart.

But stress can also increase your risk of sudden cardiac arrest. This is because your body’s natural response to stressful situations activates an immune system process that can cause inflammation and hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. This increases your risk of a heart attack and can trigger an arrhythmia that leads to cardiac arrest.

3. Increased Obesity

Over the past few years, cardiac arrest mortality has increased in the United States and Australia after long term declines. These adverse trends have coincided with an increase in the percentage of people who are overweight and obese.

More than 356,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year, and 90% of these cases are fatal. Emergency treatment includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and electrical shock known as defibrillation, which restores a normal heart rhythm.

Extra pounds don’t directly cause heart attacks, but they can make you more likely to have other dangerous conditions that do, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. And they can contribute to sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, which also increase heart attack risk.

Obesity is associated with increased incidence of hypertension, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus and obstructive sleep apnea. It exerts direct adverse effects on the cardiovascular system through influencing the associated risk factors as well as through indirect mechanisms such as eccentric left ventricular hypertrophy and elevated inflammatory markers including IL6 and TNF.

4. Increased Smoking

Heart disease is a significant cause of death among smokers. Researchers have found that people who smoke, regardless of whether they have existing heart disease, are more likely to die from a first-time cardiovascular event than nonsmokers. The increased risk is most noticeable among middle-aged men and women.

In the Nurses’ Health Study, women with no history of heart disease who smoked had almost two and a half times the risk of sudden cardiac death than healthy women who didn’t smoke. For every five years of smoking, their risk of sudden cardiac death increased by 8 percent.

Smokers are also more likely to have episodes of ventricular tachyarrhythmias, which is one type of abnormal heart rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. For these reasons, it’s important for smokers to quit smoking or at least reduce their cigarette intake.

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Unveiling the Thrilling World of Major Playground: A Digital Escapade of Games, Safety, and Triumph.

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Unleash the Thrill of 카지노메이저사이트: Where Gaming Meets Grandeur

Discovering the Thrill of 카지노메이저사이트: Your Gateway to Premium Gaming

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The Thrill of NBA중계: Experiencing Live Basketball Action

The Magic of Watching NBA Live: A Thrill for Basketball Enthusiasts

When it comes to experiencing live basketball action, nothing quite compares to the energy of an NBA game. The National Basketball Association, with its collection of the world’s best basketball talents, has always been a spectacle that attracts millions of viewers from all corners of the globe. Watching an NBA game live, especially for fans outside the United States, has its own unique charm and excitement.

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1. What does NBA중계 translate to in English?
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5. How can I enhance my understanding of the game during an NBA중계?
– Tune into a stream that offers commentary in your preferred language, follow expert analyses, or engage with fan communities to deepen your comprehension and enjoyment of the game.…

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Understanding Cardiac Arrest and Its Treatment

Cardiac Arrest – What is It?

Cardiac arrest stops the heart, preventing blood from flowing to the brain. It can kill within minutes unless treated immediately with CPR, chest compressions and an electric shock from a defibrillator.

Those who survive cardiac arrest may need therapy to process their emotions. One in 10 who go into sudden cardiac arrest die, but the survival rate doubles or triples if bystanders give CPR.

Risk Factors

A sudden cardiac arrest kills people quickly, often within minutes. It’s different from a heart attack (myocardial infarction). The main risk factor for cardiac arrest is coronary artery disease, with 80% of sudden deaths linked to this condition. Other risk factors include smoking, a family history of coronary artery disease, and an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular arrhythmias, especially long QT syndrome and Brugada syndrome.

Some medicines and illnesses raise the risk of arrhythmias, including a number of over-the-counter medications. Injuries, like getting hit in the chest with a hard blow from a sports ball or car crash, also raise the risk of cardiac arrest. A person’s risk for cardiac arrest also increases with age. Men have a greater risk for cardiac arrest than women, but the gender gap narrows after middle age.


Heart arrhythmias occur when the electrical signals that control a normal heartbeat are disrupted. These irregular heartbeats can cause your heart to beat too quickly, too slowly or with an abnormal rhythm. Arrhythmias can range from a minor nuisance to a life-threatening problem.

Supraventricular arrhythmias come from the top parts of your heart and can feel like a racing or fluttering heartbeat. Ventricular arrhythmias, which come from the lower chambers of your heart, can be dangerous and require emergency evaluation.

Arrhythmias are often caused by pre-existing conditions such as coronary artery disease, sleep apnea, diabetes or high blood pressure. They can also be triggered by certain medications, alcohol, illegal drugs or stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine. The natural aging process can also be a trigger.

Heart Attacks

A heart attack occurs when a blockage in the coronary arteries prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart. This can cause heart damage and death. It’s not the same as sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

SCA happens when electrical impulses in the heart change pattern and disrupt the heartbeat. This stops blood flow to the brain and other organs, leading to unconsciousness or death if not treated right away.

You can’t predict when you will have a heart attack, but you can reduce your risk by following healthy lifestyle habits and seeing your doctor for regular checkups. If you have a history of cardiac arrest, your doctor may recommend an implantable defibrillator or other devices to prevent future episodes. In some cases, you might need to take medication for certain conditions that can increase your risk of heart attack or arrhythmias.


While cardiac arrest can be fatal, immediate treatment can increase a person’s chance of survival. This includes calling 911 and undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which involves rescue breathing and chest compressions to circulate oxygenated blood to the heart and brain.

CPR also helps prevent oxygen-starved tissue damage that can occur in four to six minutes. This is because the heart stops pumping blood, and without oxygen in the body, cell and tissue death can occur.

The CPR steps are the same for adults and children, although the technique for babies and young children (0-5 years old) is slightly different. People who suffer from a cardiac event may grunt, snore or take gasping breaths, but these are not signs of breathing normally and they still need CPR.


A defibrillator is a medical device that sends an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. The shock may be necessary to stop dangerous arrhythmias or to prevent sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

A person who has collapsed with SCA needs emergency treatment right away. Without it, they’ll die within a few minutes due to oxygen-poor blood.

The best chance of survival comes from a combination of quick emergency treatment that includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation. CPR keeps enough oxygen in the lungs to get to the brain, while defibrillation quickly returns a normal heart rhythm. Defibrillation is typically done with an automated external defibrillator (AED) that can analyze the heart rhythm and advise when a shock is needed. The high-energy shock may feel like a kick in the chest, but it’s not painful for most people.

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Differentiating Cardiac Arrest from Seizures

Cardiac Arrest Vs Seizure

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating. Without immediate treatment, victims die. Defibrillators can restart the heart.

Studies indicate that people often misdiagnose syncope as seizures. It can be hard to tell them apart if the person’s body jerks. One study suggests that you count the jerks: 10 or more jerks is likely syncope, less than 10 is a seizure.

What is a seizure?

During a seizure, there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This can cause a variety of symptoms that include changes in behavior, movement and feelings. Seizures can last up to two minutes. They may cause someone to fall, have a distorted vision, become unconscious or lose consciousness. There are many different kinds of seizures, varying in where they begin in the brain and how far the symptoms spread.

A person who has a seizure is experiencing a medical emergency and should be treated with immediate care. EMS workers should use defibrillation equipment if they see shockable initial rhythm or agonal breathing. These are signs of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Healthcare professionals don’t know if arrhythmias can cause seizures. However, they do know that having a history of seizures increases the risk of a future arrhythmia in certain people. This is because the abnormal patterns of electrical activity in the brain can cause convulsive syncope, which can look very much like a seizure.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is when a blocked artery cuts off the blood supply to your heart. This causes the heart muscle to die because it can’t get enough oxygen. It is an emergency, and you must seek medical attention right away. People who get prompt treatment are five times more likely to survive a cardiac arrest than those who don’t.

Symptoms of a heart attack can include chest pain or discomfort that lasts for more than a few minutes and may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. You might also feel shortness of breath, weakness or fainting and break out in a cold sweat.

In the hospital, a doctor or nurse will listen to your chest with a stethoscope and do a blood test to look for evidence of heart damage. They will also do an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check the rhythm of your heartbeat. They may also use a device called a defibrillator to give you an electric shock to return your heart back to a normal rhythm.

What is the difference between a seizure and a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of oxygen to part of your heart. This can cause a sudden, intense pain in your chest called a myocardial infarction. Some people also feel a ‘fluttering’ in their heart called tachycardia or arrhythmia. If it causes a lack of oxygen to the brain, it can make you faint or appear to have seizures (called syncope).

Cardiac arrest happens when your heart suddenly stops beating and stops pumping blood. This is a medical emergency that can be deadly in minutes unless you get CPR and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) immediately. Cardiac arrest often happens to people who seem healthy, such as children and young adults. They might have a history of pre-existing heart problems, but it can also occur in seemingly healthy individuals who are exercising. It is common for agonal breathing and decorticate posturing to mimic a seizure, which can delay CPR.

What should I do if I see someone having a seizure?

Most seizures last 1-3 minutes and end on their own. But, if they last longer than that or they lose consciousness and don’t come back right away, call 911.

Keep the person calm, and help them stay awake after the seizure ends. Avoid holding them down or restraining them, which can cause injuries. Move anything that could injure them, like sharp objects or dangerous furniture, away from them. Help them sit down in a safe place, and don’t put anything in their mouth. (They may bite their tongue during the seizure, and putting something in their mouth can lead to injury or choking.)

You can also try to prevent accidents by moving the person to a safer area, for example, out of traffic or away from the edge of a railing or high platform. If they’re at risk of hitting their head, place a soft item like a jacket or pillow under their head.

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Emergency Treatment for Cardiac Arrest in Dogs

Cardiac Arrest in Dogs

Cardiac arrest is an emergency, so if your pet collapses, contact your vet immediately. They will ask you about your pet’s history and carry out a few tests to assess the condition.

If your dog goes into cardiac arrest, the emergency veterinary team will follow the steps of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This will include checking the airway, ventilation and circulation to re-establish oxygenation to the brain.


Cardiac arrest in dogs can be caused by many things. If the heart is not pumping blood adequately it can lead to poor oxygen supply to the brain, which in turn causes the dog to collapse and lose consciousness. Blood clots can also block blood flow to the heart and if large enough they can cause a heart attack.

In most cases a heart attack is fatal without rapid veterinary treatment. A dog in cardiac arrest will usually die within four to six minutes if they are not resuscitated.

Cardiopulmonary arrest is defined as the complete cessation of effective circulation and ventilation. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is the process by which the veterinary team will attempt to revive your dog. This includes ensuring the airway is clear, providing oxygen through intubation and re-establishing circulation of blood by compression. The exact steps a veterinarian will take to resuscitate your pet will depend on the type of heart disease your dog has and their medical history.


Cardiac arrest is the sudden cessation of heartbeat and breathing. It is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate attention.

A pet may suffer cardiac arrest as a result of a cardiac disease that has progressed to congestive heart failure (CHF). In other cases, it occurs as a complication of other illnesses such as cancer or certain types of tumors.

The first step in reviving a dog that is suffering from cardiac arrest is to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A tube is passed into the trachea, and oxygen is supplied to facilitate breathing.

A veterinary doctor will then examine the pet to determine the underlying cause of the heart attack. Chest X-rays, blood work and an echocardiogram are usually performed. If a blood clot is the underlying cause of the heart attack, medications will be given to break up and prevent future clots from forming in the heart. The dog will also be given long-term medication to help keep the heart healthy.


When a dog experiences cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and the blood stops flowing. The brain and other organs are deprived of oxygen within four to six minutes, leading to death.

A veterinary team trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation will clear the pet’s airway, provide oxygen via the nose or mouth and begin chest compressions to stimulate the heart and reestablish blood flow. The veterinary team will also determine the cause of the cardiac arrest and administer any medications that are needed to assist in normalizing cardiac function.

A veterinary team can only save a small percentage of dogs that go into cardiac arrest. Even if a dog can be resuscitated, the prognosis for survival is poor because the underlying cause of the cardiac arrest must be addressed. For this reason, it is important to know CPR and keep the phone number of a nearby emergency veterinary hospital handy in case your dog experiences a medical emergency such as cardiac arrest.


A dog in cardiac arrest will not regain consciousness on their own, so they must be resuscitated. This involves ensuring the airway is clear, breathing with oxygen through a tube in the trachea and chest compressions (one hand for small dogs, two hands for larger ones) for 30 compressions followed by two breaths.

The emergency veterinarian will need to ask you about the symptoms your dog has been showing and any circumstances that might have triggered their heart attack. They will also perform a physical examination, checking your dog’s pulse and respiration rates and constantly monitoring their blood oxygen levels.

Routine diagnostic exams might include a chest X-ray to assess fluid buildup in and around the lungs, an electrocardiogram to evaluate your pet’s heart rhythm and echocardiograms that allow direct evaluation of heart size and function. These tests can help determine if there are any underlying conditions that are contributing to your pet’s cardiac failure or causing their sudden cardiac arrest.

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Warning Signs of Cardiac Arrest: Identifying the Symptoms

Warning Signs of Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops suddenly, cutting off blood flow to the brain. Without emergency treatment, the person dies within minutes.

Although people can go into cardiac arrest with no symptoms at all, research shows that many experience early warning signs. Knowing them can make the difference between life and death.

1. Chest Pain

Pain or discomfort in the chest, upper back, neck, jaw or arms that feels like a squeezing pressure or achy sensation is not something to shrug off or ignore. It could be a sign of coronary heart disease (CAD), which is the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest and can kill in minutes without immediate medical attention.

It was long thought that sudden cardiac arrest killed people without any warning signs, but researchers at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute discovered that half of those who went into cardiac arrest had a telling symptom 24 hours beforehand. Those symptoms include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath and sweating. They can also include a feeling that you are going to pass out, as well as nausea and vomiting.

2. Shortness of Breath

Breathing normally takes place without you thinking about it, but when you are short of breath, you should take note. This is a sign that something may be wrong with your heart or lungs.

Getting short of breath, or dyspnea, can be caused by many different health conditions. They include problems with your heart and lungs, such as a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, or diseases that restrict the flow of oxygen into your lungs, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or emphysema.

Researchers have found that almost half of people who experience sudden cardiac arrest had a warning sign within 24 hours before the event, but the signs vary by gender. For men, chest pain and difficulty breathing are the most common warning symptoms.

3. Difficulty Breathing

Breathing difficulties can be a sign of a heart attack, especially when they happen suddenly and without explanation. If you’re experiencing breathing problems, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of them.

During cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating, stopping blood from flowing throughout the body. This leads to sudden death unless treated immediately. Emergency treatment includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation and electric shock, called defibrillation. Many public areas have automated external defibrillators, which nonmedical people can use if they witness someone having a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Half of people who have a sudden cardiac arrest experience a warning sign 24 hours before the event. However, these symptoms can vary by sex. For example, women tend to develop shortness of breath, while men have chest pain.

4. Nausea or Vomiting

People who get immediate emergency medical care for warning signs of cardiac arrest are five times more likely to survive.

A person in sudden cardiac arrest may lose consciousness, stop breathing or shake (have seizures-like movement). If they do not receive hands-only CPR and an automated external defibrillator within two to three minutes of collapse, the odds of survival drop to zero.

It used to be thought that sudden death came on suddenly without warning, but researchers now know that half of the people who go into cardiac arrest experience a warning sign 24 hours beforehand. And that those symptoms can differ by sex.

For example, some women develop shortness of breath while men often experience chest pain. In addition, a person in cardiac arrest may vomit blood, a condition called hematemesis. This blood comes from the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. It may look dark and brownish, like coffee grounds.

5. Seizures

People with seizures are at a higher risk for cardiac arrest. Seizures occur when rapid impulses override the normal electrical impulses that start your heartbeat. This results in a lack of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. Seizures may also cause you to lose consciousness.

Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. Some are minor and don’t affect your awareness (an aura). Others may cause jerking movements of the arms or legs, loss of balance or uncontrollable breathing. Seizures can be caused by alcohol withdrawal, nervous system infections, extreme low blood sugar or pregnancy complications such as eclampsia.

Sudden cardiac arrest typically happens without warning. But if you know the early warning signs, it can improve your chances of survival. Follow-up care with your doctor can help prevent future episodes.

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Zofran and Cardiac Arrest: Risks and Resuscitation

Zofran and Cardiac Arrest

Zofran (ondansetron hydrochloride) is a widely used anti-nausea and vomiting drug that blocks the actions of serotonin at 5-HT3 receptors. It has been FDA-approved for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting but is commonly used “off-label” to treat other conditions.

A previously healthy 10-year-old child presented to the emergency department with gastroenteritis symptoms and was given intravenous fluids, morphine and antibiotics along with two doses of ondansetron. He later experienced episodes of supraventricular tachycardia that progressed to ventricular fibrillation and died.

Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin Syndrome can be caused by the use of medications that increase levels of serotonin in the body. It can also be a side effect of some drugs that interfere with the metabolism of serotonin. It can be fatal, especially when it’s combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and other medications that increase the activity of serotonin.

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome can be difficult to distinguish from other illnesses, and they can worsen rapidly. They can include agitation, muscle spasms and changes in mental status. Serotonin Syndrome can be diagnosed by a physical exam and a review of the patient’s medications. Symptoms are treated by withdrawing the medication that increased the serotonin and giving supportive care. Benzodiazepines can be used to treat agitation and tremors. Cyproheptadine can be given to reduce the amount of serotonin in the body.

Milder forms of serotonin syndrome go away within 24 to 72 hours of stopping the medication that caused it. Severe symptoms require hospitalization. Patients with severe symptoms may need to be intubated, put on a breathing machine and given medicines to paralyze muscles and reduce seizures.

Myocardial Ischemia

Myocardial Ischemia (also known as cardiac ischemia or heart attack) occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood to work properly. This lack of blood is usually the result of a blockage in your heart’s arteries, and it can lead to serious abnormal heart rhythms or a heart attack.

The build-up of fatty plaques in the artery walls, which is called atherosclerosis, can cause your arteries to narrow and restrict blood flow to your heart. When this happens, it can cause chest pain or discomfort, but in some cases, the ischemia isn’t related to any symptoms. This is called silent ischemia.

Another possible cause of myocardial ischemia is a blood clot that forms in one of your arteries and blocks oxygen-carrying blood. This can happen if the plaque in your artery breaks open or if a piece of a clot moves from somewhere else in the body to your coronary arteries. You can also get ischemia if you have a spasm in your coronary artery, which temporarily decreases or stops blood flow to your heart.

Electrocardiographic Changes

A few people who have taken Zofran have reported symptoms of a quivering heartbeat or shortness of breath along with a change in the electrical activity of their hearts. This can lead to a dangerous and potentially fatal arrhythmia called torsade de pointes. It has also been associated with a prolongation of the QT interval on an electrocardiogram, or ECG. This is a measure of how long it takes for the heart to recharge after each beat.

A prolonged QT interval can increase the risk of Torsade de Pointes, especially in people who already have a condition like congenital long QT syndrome, are taking other medications that can cause QT prolongation, or are at high risk for low levels of potassium and magnesium in their bodies. The manufacturer of Zofran, GlaxoSmith Kline, is undergoing an ongoing study to determine if the drug can affect QT intervals. Results are expected in the summer of 2012. The FDA has updated the Zofran label to warn doctors about this potential for abnormal QT interval changes.


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the process of attempting to keep oxygen flowing and restart a heart that has stopped beating. It is an important part of intensive care medicine, anesthesia and emergency medicine.

There are a few cases of cardiac arrest that have been related to ondansetron (Zofran). In one case, a previously healthy 10-year-old presented to the emergency room with symptoms of gastroenteritis and was given intravenous fluids, morphine, antibiotics and two doses of Zofran for nausea and vomiting. The child then became unresponsive with agonal respirations and a wide complex tachycardia that progressed to ventricular fibrillation. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and the patient died.

The first thing to do is check for breathing or gasping and a pulse. Attempts at mouth-to-mouth or bag-valve-mask ventilation should be avoided as they can lead to a worsening of hypoxemia by introducing air into the esophagus and aspiration of stomach contents. Once the lone healthcare provider determines that the patient is in cardiac arrest, they should call 911, retrieve the AED and begin chest compressions.

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Surviving Cardiac Arrest: What You Need to Know

Cardiac Arrest – What You Need to Know

Cardiac arrest can happen suddenly and without warning. It stops blood flow to the heart and brain, causing the person to lose consciousness. Without immediate treatment, it’s almost always fatal.

You can help someone who is in cardiac arrest by calling 911 and doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillator (AED), if available. This can double or triple the chance of survival.


Sudden cardiac arrest happens when the heart’s rhythm becomes very irregular, causing the ventricles to quiver or stop beating (ventricular fibrillation). Blood flow stops and the brain is starved of oxygen. The person dies within minutes unless emergency treatment is given immediately.

If a person you know experiences sudden cardiac arrest, call 911 and start hands-only CPR until emergency medical help arrives. Many communities have defibrillators, or AEDs, in public places. AEDs deliver an electric shock to the chest that can restore a normal heartbeat and prevent SCA.

In addition to breathing problems, a person in cardiac arrest loses consciousness and has no pulse. They may also vomit or have a seizure. Many survivors suffer brain damage from reduced blood flow and oxygen. Symptoms can include difficulty moving or thinking, memory loss, and speech or visual-motor impairment. These impacts can improve or worsen with time.


A heart attack occurs when an artery closes, blocking oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart. Cardiac arrest is different because it happens suddenly with no warning.

Without rapid treatment, it’s almost impossible to survive. Cardiac arrest causes the heart to stop beating, causing people to collapse and become unresponsive. The lack of oxygen to the brain causes severe brain damage, which gets worse the longer it takes to restore blood flow to the brain.

Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) are the most common cause of cardiac arrest. These can be caused by a heart condition you have at birth (congenital disease), medications or cold medicines, serious illness or injury, and even some physical activities.

Sudden cardiac arrest can also be caused by fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heartbeats called palpitations or by dizziness or fainting. Some people who experience SCA have warning symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath before they collapse. Other times, sudden cardiac arrest happens with no warning and can happen to anyone, even those who appear healthy.


Although cardiac arrest is often fatal outside a hospital, quick treatment can save lives. Emergency care includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, which restart the heart with an electric shock. Defibrillators are available in many public areas, and even nonmedical people can use them, provided they know how.

A sudden cessation of blood flow causes a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can damage neurons and cause a permanent neurological deficit. It also can lead to global ischaemia-reperfusion injury, in which the sudden resumption of blood flow triggers an imbalance of ions, causing calcium to flood into cells, and activating excitotoxicity, in which neurotransmitters are over-stimulated.

Treatment depends on the cause of the cardiac arrest. For example, medication can help treat high blood pressure and cholesterol; surgery can repair damaged blood vessels or heart valves; and a healthier diet can reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Most patients who survive cardiac arrest experience some difficulties when they return to their normal lives, but these problems are usually less severe than those that occur in those who don’t survive.


While the odds of survival drop dramatically after cardiac arrest if you don’t get immediate treatment, prompt care significantly increases your chances of recovery.

Cardiac arrest occurs when rapid, abnormal impulses override the normal electrical signals that start your heartbeat. This condition, also called sudden cardiac death, can lead to a lack of oxygen-rich blood to the brain and other organs. Without immediate medical attention, you may die within minutes.

Most survivors of cardiac arrest are left with permanent brain injuries that impact their quality of life. These include movement disorders, difficulty with memory or speech, and diminished executive functions such as concentration and visual-motor skills. Survivors who undergo lengthy comas face even more challenges. However, a smaller subset of survivors who emerge from comas make remarkable recoveries. Nurses can help identify the individualized needs of these patients and guide their care throughout the recovery process. This includes determining the best way to prevent another cardiac arrest.

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