Cardiac arrest: Your guide to this life-threatening disease

People have this misconception that both heart attack and cardiac arrest are the same. If you are also one among them, then this article is for you which explain the risk factors, signs, and symptoms, diagnostic tests, treatment, and preventive measures of cardiac arrest. It could be an eye-opener for you where you will understand when to seek Arizona heart specialists if you’re staying in Arizona. So, keep reading!


Cardiac arrest is an emergency

Cardiac arrest is an emergency in which the heart suddenly stops functioning, due to disruption of the pumping action of the heart. The condition can lead to interference in the flow of blood throughout the body. Disturbances in the electrical activity in your heart can lead to the condition. It demands immediate medical assistance, otherwise can cause life.


What’s the difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack?

Cardiac arrest and heart attack are not considered as the same condition. Heart attack or myocardial infarction happens due to blockage of one or more arteries to the heart, which deprives the heart of getting an adequate amount of oxygen-rich blood, leading to heart damage. But cardiac arrest happens due to malfunctioning of electrical activities in the heart, causing problems in the delivery of blood to the rest of the body and brain, leading to loss of consciousness and breathing stops. The condition can lead to death unless emergency treatment is provided.


Do I have a risk of cardiac arrest?

You might have a risk of having cardiac arrest if you –

  • Had a previous heart attack. The risk is more within 6 months after a heart attack
  • Suffer from coronary heart disease, the risk of which increases with smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, and a family history of heart disease
  • Suffered from sudden cardiac arrest before
  • Cardiac arrest runs in family
  • Have abnormal heart rhythm, or family history of certain abnormal heart rhythms
  • Have ventricular tachycardia after a heart attack
  • Have ventricular fibrillation after a heart attack
  • Have a history of congenital heart defects or abnormalities in blood vessel
  • Have a history of unexplained fainting episodes
  • Are obese
  • Are suffering from diabetes


Know the symptoms of cardiac arrest

You might suffer from a cardiac arrest if you –

  • Experience a racing heartbeat
  • Feel dizzy
  • Collapse suddenly
  • Do not find a pulse
  • Cannot breathe
  • Experience fatigue
  • Experience chest pain
  • Feel weak
  • Start vomiting


Diagnostic tests for cardiac arrest

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) is commonly done after cardiac arrest. Electrical activity of the heart is checked in ECG. Disturbances in the heart rhythm or abnormal electrical patterns can be detected in ECG.
  • Imaging tests such as chest X-ray, nuclear scan, and echocardiogram may be recommended.


Is there any treatment?

Giving an electric shock through a defibrillator can sometimes help to save a life. Immediate Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be helpful to keep the circulation of oxygen throughout the body until the arrival of emergency service or until the use of a defibrillator. After recovery, you may be prescribed some other treatments which will help to prevent any further cardiac arrest. Treatment such as drugs, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation may be recommended.


Looking for a personalized treatment on time? Connect with Peak Heart and Vascular Center of Arizona to get the timely treatment you deserve.


Can cardiac arrest be prevented?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent cardiac arrest. What you can do is, reduce the risk factors that contribute to cardiac arrest.

  • Go for regular checkups
  • Consider screening for heart diseases, so that early diagnosis can help to prevent the disease
  • Avoid smoking
  • Limit the consumption of alcohol
  • Eat a balanced nutritious diet. Consume green leafy vegetables and fruits daily. Include nuts and whole grains also. Try to lower the amount of cholesterol in the diet.
  • Include physical exercise in your routine life. It helps in blood circulation throughout the body while keeping you fit and active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.


Final Takeaway

Cardiac arrest can occur for anyone at any time. So, make sure to consult Arizona heart specialists if you have any of the risk factors discussed above, and follow his/her advice. Looking for qualified and experienced heart specialists under one roof? You can visit Peak Heart and Vascular Center of Arizona directly or online at your convenience.