Cardiac Arrest - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment
Last Updated On Friday, October 7, 2022
Cardiac Arrest in English
Cardiac arrest is the condition in which your heart stops beating, leading to loss of breathing and loss of consciousness. It usually occurs due to abnormality in the electrical impulses. Cardiac arrest is different from cardiac failure because it occurs suddenly, while heart failure is a gradual condition.
Moreover, it is also different from a heart attack, which is a condition in which the blood vessel of the heart is blocked and the blood supply to it is disrupted. In cardiac arrest, the heart loses all its ability to pump blood or beat.
Cardiac arrest is an emergency. You need to rush the patient to the hospital and get them the right and urgent medical care. Most healthcare providers perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation to get back the beating of the heart. The patient can die in minutes of cardiac arrest.
Understanding the normal function of the heart
Your heart has four chambers, and two sides. The left side and the right side. The right side of the heart pumps blood to your lungs to receive oxygen, while the left side of your heart receives that blood from the lungs and pumps it to the whole body.
The heart does all this work in two phases. First, the chambers of the heart relax to fill the blood known as diastole. Then, the heart contracts to eject the blood-filled in the chambers, a phase is known as systole.
Now that we have discussed the normal function of the heart, we can discuss the types of heart failure.
The signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest are as follows.
Loss of consciousness
Other signs and symptoms that may occur before it can be described as follows.
Fast beating of the heart
Shortness of breath
Difficulty breathing at rest
Causes Of Cardiac Arrest
There can be many causes of cardiac arrest. Here are some of them:
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): This includes myocardial infarction (heart attack) and is the most common cause of cardiac arrest. It occurs when the arteries supplying oxygen to your heart (coronary arteries) are blocked or narrowed. It eventually results in ineffective functioning of the heart.
It is a condition in which your heart muscles are damaged resulting in improper functioning of the heart. It could occur due to infections, drugs, and other diseases.
Congenital Heart Diseases:
This refers to structural defects present in the heart at the time of birth.
Heart Valve defects:
Your heart has four valves ( mitral, tricuspid, pulmonary, and aortic) that ensure blood flow in a proper direction. If due to any reason, the valves do not function properly, this may result in heart failure.
or hemochromatosis ( too much iron in the blood) can cause heart failure.
Diagnosis of cardiac arrest
After taking a history and doing a physical examination, your doctor might order these tests to reach a diagnosis of cardiac arrest:
ECG (Electrocardiogram) :
This is done to check the rhythm of your heart.
This is done to check for any problem in your heart or lungs.
This test uses sound waves to take images of your heart that reveal information about any problem in the chambers, valves, or any other part of your heart. Your doctor will see ejection fraction to diagnose heart failure. Ejection Fraction is the amount of blood that your left ventricle pumps out during each contraction.
Cardiac arrest is associated with coronary artery disease- a condition in which plaque builds up inside your arteries, leading to disruption of blood flow. Therefore, everything that puts you at risk of coronary artery disease will eventually put you at risk of cardiac arrest. These risk factors can be explained as follows.
Fat rich diet
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Sugar rich diet
Family history of heart diseases, especially coronary artery disease
However, there are some other factors too that can increase your risk of cardiac arrest. They can be described as follows.
Have had a heart attack
Have a family history of cardiac arrest, cardiac rhythm abnormalities, cardiac conduction abnormalities, cardiac myopathies, cardiac failure, and congenital heart diseases
Have had an episode of cardiac arrest previously
Using CNS stimulants like amphetamines or illegal drugs like cocaine
Electrolytes imbalance- that can occur due to medications use like corticosteroids, diuretics, or conditions like diarrhea or dehydration.
Chronic kidney disease
Obstructive sleep apnea
Coronary artery diseases and cardiac arrest can be prevented by avoiding the factors that may increase the risk of getting them. Here are some measures that can prevent cardiac arrest are:
Blood pressure monitoring
Having a diet with low cholesterol levels
Maintaining a healthy weight
Consuming fewer sugars and monitoring blood sugar levels for diabetes prevention
Taking measures to avoid mental stress
Cardiac arrest is the condition in which your heart stops beating, leading to loss of breathing and loss of consciousness. It can occur due to various reasons like coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, and electrical problems in the heart. To prevent it, you must prevent coronary artery disease risk factors.