What Causes Sudden Cardiac Death
Most sudden cardiac deaths are caused by abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. The most common life-threatening arrhythmia is ventricular fibrillation, which is an erratic, disorganized firing of impulses from the ventricles . When this occurs, the heart is unable to pump blood and death will occur within minutes, if left untreated.
Whats The Difference Between A Heart Attack Cardiac Arrest And Heart Failure
While heart attack, cardiac arrest and heart failure can sometimes be related, theyre actually three very different types of cardiac emergencies.
Cardiac arrest, heart attack and heart failure three terms that are familiar to most people, but often get confused with one another. While there can be some overlap between them in terms of cause and effect, they are actually three distinct heart-related issues, each with its own set of causes and treatments.
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What Should You Do
You need to call an ambulance immediately if you think you, or someone else, is having a heart attack. Sit or lie down while waiting for help to arrive. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
If you suspect someone has had a cardiac arrest you must act immediately. Your chances of of surviving a cardiac arrest decrease by 10 per cent every minute you go without treatment. If you don’t get treatment within 10 minutes, you’re unlikely to survive.
- Check for responsiveness: do they respond when you tap them on the shoulders? Do they respond when you ask if they are okay?
- Check for a pulse .
- Begin CPR immediately and continue until help arrives. Uninterrupted CPR increases the person’s chance of surviving.
- Call for an AED. AEDs analyse a victim’s heart and deliver a shock to return it to its normal rhythm. The AED will notify the user when to stop CPR so the patient can be analysed or shocked.
How Is It Diagnosed
Cardiac arrest symptoms come on suddenly, leaving little time for tests and evaluations. The condition can become fatal within minutes, which is why its essential to make a quick diagnosis.
A persons symptoms are often the best way to diagnose cardiac arrest, especially if they:
- Are unconscious.
- Have no pulse.
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What Is A Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.
Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack. The heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men.
What Is A Cardiac Arrest
A cardiac arrest, in contrast, is usually caused by a sudden heart arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the electrical signals within the heart suddenly become completely chaotic. Because these electrical signals control the timing and the organization of the heartbeat, when those signals degenerate to total chaos, the heart suddenly stops beating. That is, it goes into “cardiac arrest.” The most common outcome of a cardiac arrest is sudden death.
The treatment for a cardiac arrest is to begin immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation to support the victim’s circulation, and, as soon as possible, to deliver a large electrical shock to the heart with a device called a defibrillator. The large shock allows the heart’s electrical signal to reorganize itself, and the heart to begin beating again.
Unfortunately, because death occurs within a few minutes of cardiac arrest unless help is available, the large majority of people who suffer cardiac arrest are not successfully resuscitated.
Other causes of cardiac arrest include certain inherited heart abnormalities that tend to increase the risk of ventricular fibrillation and the use of various illicit drugs .
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Difference Between A Heart Attack And Cardiac Arrest
Its not always romantic or an indication of being in love when the heart beats faster. One of the most meticulously working muscle groups in the body, the fist-sized heart is known to beat over 1,15,000 times and pump over 2,000 gallons of blood in a single day. Lifestyle changes coupled with increased stress and non-communicable health disorders such as hypertension, obesity or, diabetes can lead to a considerably high incidence of heart problems, irrespective of gender and age. While it may begin with a simple diagnosis of complaints of breathlessness, chest pain, and blockage in the arteries, people are known to suffer from either Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack most of the time. It is, however, important to understand the difference between both the terms before using them interchangeably, as they are starkly diverse conditions.
Difference Between Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest
Of the many heart ailments that are known to affect people globally, a heart attack is the most common. It is known to affect 10 million people approximately in our country every year. We may suffer from a heart attack when there is a blockage in the blood flow to the heart owing to fat and plaque build-up in the coronary arteries. As a result of this interrupted blood flow, part of the heart muscle is damaged or destroyed. It is advised to visit Manipal for the best heart attack treatment in Whitefield.
Understanding the symptoms and underlying causes
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What Is The Link
These two distinct heart conditions are linked. Sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack, or during recovery. Heart attacks increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Most heart attacks do not lead to sudden cardiac arrest. But when sudden cardiac arrest occurs, heart attack is a common cause. Other heart conditions may also disrupt the hearts rhythm and lead to sudden cardiac arrest. These include a thickened heart muscle , heart failure, arrhythmias, particularly ventricular fibrillation, and long Q-T syndrome.
Fast action can save lives. Find out what to do if someone experiences a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
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What Causes Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac arrest can be caused by a heart condition, or it can occur unexpectedly. However, there are three main causes of cardiac arrest:
- Arrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation: Arrhythmia occurs when electrical signals in the heart are the problem leading to an abnormal heartbeat. Ventricular fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia and is the most common cause of cardiac arrest. Ventricular fibrillation is a rapid heartbeat in the hearts ventricle, which causes the heart to tremble instead of normally pumping blood.
- Enlarged heart : The heart muscle dilates or thickens, leading to abnormal contractions of the heart.
- Coronary artery disease: This type of heart disease occurs when the coronary arteries are narrowed and thickened by blockages of plaque, which restricts the flow of blood to the heart. If left untreated, coronary artery disease can lead to heart failure or arrhythmias, which both can lead to cardiac arrest.
Other causes of cardiac arrest may include:
- Blood loss
- Low potassium or magnesium
Some people may experience cardiac arrest with no risk factors at all. Cardiac arrest is more common in older men than women.
Who Is At Risk For Sudden Cardiac Arrest
You are at higher risk for SCA if you
- Have coronary artery disease . Most people with SCA have CAD. But CAD usually doesn’t cause symptoms, so they may not know that they have it.
- Are older your risk increases with age
- Are a man it is more common in men than women
- Are Black or African American, especially if you have other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease
- Have a personal history of heartbeats that aren’t regular
- Have a personal or family history of SCA or inherited disorders that can cause arrhythmia
- Have a problem with drug or alcohol use
- Have had a heart attack
- Have heart failure
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What Are The Treatments After Surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest
If you survive SCA, you’ll likely be admitted to a hospital for ongoing care and treatment. In the hospital, your medical team will closely watch your heart. They may give you medicines to try to reduce the risk of another SCA.
They will also try to find out what caused your SCA. If you’re diagnosed with coronary artery disease, you may have an angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery. These procedures help restore blood flow through narrowed or blocked coronary arteries.
Often, people who have had SCA get a device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator . This small device is surgically placed under the skin in your chest or abdomen. An ICD uses electric pulses or shocks to help control dangerous arrhythmias.
The Difference Between A Heart Attack And Cardiac Arrest
Someone clutches their heart and falls to the ground, rendered completely unconscious. Later in the show the doctor will emerge to inform the family member that the individual suffered a heart attack or was it a cardiac arrest? This is a scene all too common in films and television shows. The problem is that many people are unsure of what the difference is, if there is one at all! Although they may be portrayed as the same thing in Hollywood, the two are actually different! Want to know the difference and outsmart all the media that has it wrong? Here is the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest.
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Heart Attacks Are More A Circulation Problem
While cardiac arrest is caused by a disruption in the “electrical” a system of your heart, a heart attack is caused by a problem with your circulation.
Small arteries branch out from all around your heart. These arteries help supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Occasionally, the arteries will become blocked. When this happens the blood cannot get to the heart. If the artery is not cleared in a timely manner, the heart will become damaged and a number of problems can occur.
There are a number of signs and symptoms that indicate you may be experiencing a heart attack. Signs of a heart attack include:
- Shortness of breath
What Can You Do If You Think Someone May Be Having A Heart Attack Or Cardiac Arrest
If you think someone may be having a heart attack or cardiac arrest, it is important to act right away. The first thing to do is to make sure the scene is safe and then to check whether the person is breathing and has a pulse. If you see that someone is not breathing or does not have a pulse, call for help immediately and begin chest compressions. If you are trained in CPR, ask for an AED or grab the nearest one. A lot of public places have AEDs easily available. Even if you are not trained in CPR, calling for help and starting chest compressions until help arrives is very important and can make a big difference.
Starting CPR as quickly as possible is extremely important. If CPR is not started within minutes, cardiac arrest is much more likely to be fatal.
If someone is having a heart attack but not a cardiac arrest, then they may be breathing, have a pulse, and be able to respond to you. In this case, you should stay with the person and call 911, even if you are not sure whether the person is actually having a heart attack. It is also important to get as much health information from the person as you can. Having the persons medical information can help emergency responders better care for the person, especially if they are not able to talk when help arrives.
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The Difference Between Heart Attacks Cardiac Arrest And Strokes
The risk factors may be the same, but understanding the differences between a stroke, heart attack and cardiac arrest could mean the difference between life and death.
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. Some symptoms of a heart attack include shortness of breath, sweating, discomfort in the center of the chest and even discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Men and women often experience heart attacks differently, and women may exhibit less visible symptoms or may feel abdominal pain often mistaken as heartburn.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating and blood and oxygen cannot flow to the bodys vital organs. Without the use of an automated external defibrillator, death can occur . Symptoms of this include loss of consciousness and cessation of breathing and a pulse.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked either by a clogged or burst blood vessel. Difficulty walking, speaking or seeing can be symptoms, as well as headaches or weakness on one side of the body. Brain cells start dying within minutes after a stroke, which is why immediate action is necessary.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and obesity are all risk factors that can increase an individuals likelihood of experiencing a heart attack, cardiac arrest or stroke. Immediate and proper -action is necessary in treating each of these life-threatening episodes.
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Heart Attack Cardiac Arrest And Stroke
Do you know the difference between a heart attack, cardiac arrest, and stroke? A heart attack and cardiac arrest involve the heart, while a stroke involves the brain.
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients.
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How Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Diagnosed
SCA happens without warning and requires emergency treatment. Health care providers rarely diagnose SCA with medical tests as it’s happening. Instead, it is usually diagnosed after it happens. Providers do this by ruling out other causes of a person’s sudden collapse.
If you are at high risk for SCA, your provider may refer you to a cardiologist, a doctor who specializes in heart diseases. The cardiologist may ask you to get various heart health tests to see how well you heart is working. He or she will work with you to decide whether you need treatment to prevent SCA.
Electrical Issues And Cardiac Arrest
The heart has an electrical system designed to allow it to beat efficiently and pump blood throughout the body. Electricity travels through the heart to make it beat, travelling from pacemaker cells that determine the heart rate throughout all of the heart muscle. In cardiac arrest, the wiring of the heart short circuits. Instead of moving in a line across the heart surface, the electricity travels around in circles aimlessly. When this happens, the person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Unless the heart is restarted in a very few minutes, the person will usually die. Even if he or she survives, there is a possibility of permanent brain injury.
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