Introduction – Normally, Sudden cardiac arrest is the rapid loss of heart function, consciousness, and breathing. Generally, this type of condition results from a problem with your heart’s electrical system that disturbs the pumping of the heart and blocks the flow of blood to your body.
It is important to note that sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack when the flow of blood to a heart is blocked. But in some cases, a heart attack can trigger an electrical disturbance, which leads to sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest may lead to death if not treated immediately. Survival may be possible with suitable medical care immediately. During cardiac arrest, it also improves the chance of survival by compressing to the chest with the help of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation using a defibrillator.
Causes – A heart attack is one of the most common causes of cardiac arrest. About 30 percent of the people who are suffering from a heart attack may get a cardiac arrest. The other common cause of sudden cardiac arrest is an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that occurs if the electrical system of your heart is not working correctly. The electrical system of the heart maintains the rhythm and rate of your heartbeat. When something goes wrong, your heartbeat can beat too slowly, too fast, or irregularly (arrhythmia). These arrhythmias are harmless but some types may lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
Sudden cardiac arrest may also occur in those people who have no heart disease. But normally, a life-threatening arrhythmia develops in a person with a previous possibly undiagnosed heart condition. There are some heart conditions, which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest are discussed below –
- Heart attack – A heart attack occurs due to a severe coronary artery disease and may trigger ventricular fibrillation that cause sudden cardiac arrest.
- Coronary artery disease – Most of the cases of sudden cardiac arrest occur in those people who are suffering from coronary artery disease. Due to coronary disease, the arteries become clogged due to cholesterol and other deposits lowering the flow of blood to the heart.
- Enlarged heart – It occurs if muscular walls of your heart enlarge or thicken then the heart’s muscle is abnormal, which leads to arrhythmias.
- Congenital heart problem – Sudden cardiac arrest occurs in children or youths due to congenital heart disease.
Symptoms – Some symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest are given below –
- No breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden collapse
- No breathing
Several other symptoms that occur before sudden cardiac arrest are given below –
- Fast breathing
- Chest discomfort
- Problem in breathing
It is important to note that most of the case of sudden cardiac arrest may occur with no warning signs.
Risk factors – There are several risk factors of sudden cardiac arrest are given below –
- High Cholesterol
- Family history of coronary artery disease
- High blood pressure
- Lack of physical activity
There are other risk factors that are responsible for sudden cardiac arrest are discussed below –
- Previous heart attack
- Increase in age
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic kidney disease
- Use illegal drugs such as cocaine
- Family history of cardiac arrest
- Nutritional imbalance
Complications – During cardiac arrest occurs, it reduce the flow of blood to your brain that causes unconsciousness. When your heart rhythm does not rapidly back to normal, brain damage occurs and results in death. It is important to note that survivors of cardiac arrest may show symptoms of brain damage.
Prevention – To prevent or decrease the risk of sudden cardiac arrest by getting checkups regularly, being screened for any heart problem, and living a heart-healthy lifestyle.