Too many times we go through our day to day activities and sometimes not even think of the signs that our body is saying. Caregivers & Seniors know how to prevent cardiac arrest and save yours or your loved ones life.
What is cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest is the sudden, abrupt loss of heart function. The victim may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. It’s also called sudden cardiac arrest or unexpected cardiac arrest. Sudden death (also called sudden cardiac death) occurs within minutes after symptoms appear. Unlike a heart attack, which involves a blockage of the coronary artery and can lead to damage to the heart itself, sudden cardiac arrest is the result of a severely abnormal heart rhythm that stops the flow of blood to the rest of the body. A heart attack can actually cause sudden cardiac arrest when the arterial clot triggers an irregular heart beat. But although sudden cardiac arrest and heart attacks may occur together, it is possible to experience sudden cardiac arrest without a blockage in the artery.
What are the most common symptoms?
The most common symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest are sudden collapse, lack of pulse, no breathing, and loss of consciousness. Though sudden cardiac arrest can strike without warning, people experiencing heart palpitations; rapid or irregular heart beats; persistent chest pain; shortness of breath; blackouts, dizziness, or fainting; fatigue; and/or vomiting should see a doctor immediately.
Healthy living is one of the best ways to lower the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. This includes eating a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, exercising regularly, reducing stress levels and a smoke free environment. Frequent visits to the doctor, for screening is advised after a certain age, especially for those with heart disease in the family.
Risk factors are not unlike those of heart attack and other coronary diseases:
- Advanced age
- Male gender
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of early coronary artery disease
- People who have heart attacks when younger (Male less than 55, female less than 65)
Heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest starkly remind us of our physical vulnerabilities, often a consequence of unhealthy lifestyle choices. They are the heart’s way of telling us in no uncertain terms that we need to change our routines, if not our entire way of life, if we want to continue living. Take care of yourself and your loved one as life is precious.