Preventing Heart Attacks And Cardiac Arrest
There are many risk factors that impact someones risk of having a heart attack or a cardiac arrest. Changing habits to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle and treating any underlying conditions can reduce the risk of both cardiac conditions. Heres how:
- Lower high cholesterol levels, seeking treatment if unable to achieve a healthy level by diet alone
- Maintain healthy blood pressure, seeking treatment if unable to achieve by diet and exercise alone
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If you suspect you or someone near you is having a cardiac arrest or a heart attack, please call 911 immediately. Do not drive yourself to the hospital or have someone else drive you, as the ambulance will have equipment that can treat you if your heart stops on the way to the emergency room. If someone near you has a cardiac arrest, call 911 and begin CPR immediately, continuing until the paramedics arrive.
CPR is an important skill that can save lives. Hands-only CPR is easy to learn and doesnt require attending a class.
Q How Do The Symptoms Differ For Sudden Cardiac Arrest
A. People having sudden cardiac arrest often lose consciousness within minutes because of the lack of blood flow to the brain. There is little-to-no warning. More than half of people who experience SCA have no symptoms. Others may have:
- Blue discoloration of the face.
- Breathing difficulty.
- Dizziness as the heart quivers.
- Overall malaise or unwell feelings.
Symptoms Of Cardiac Arrest
Unlike a heart attack, the signs of cardiac arrest are drastic and immediate. Before the heart stops, a person going into cardiac arrest may experience dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.
Once the heart does stop, the victim will show the following signs:
- Sudden collapse.
- Not breathing.
- Loss of consciousness.
If you think someone has gone into cardiac arrest, its important to get help immediately.
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Can Sudden Cardiac Arrest Be Treated
Yes, sudden cardiac arrest can be treated and reversed, but emergency action must take place immediately. Survival can be as high as 90% if treatment is initiated within the first minutes after sudden cardiac arrest. The rate decreases by about 10% each minute longer it takes to initiate therapy. Those who survive have a better long-term outlook.
Q What Are Some Ways To Help Prevent Heart Attack And Sudden Cardiac Arrest
A. Heart-healthy habits are an essential first step. Controlling risk factors helps prevent heart attacks or SCA so talk to your doctor about how to lower your blood pressure, quit smoking, control diabetes, stay active and eat a heart-healthy diet.
If you have a heart condition or had a previous heart attack, your provider will discuss preventive care options. These may include:
- Medication: Your provider may recommend drugs to lower cholesterol, prevent future heart attacks, lower blood pressure or prevent blood clots.
- Ablation: Heart attacks can lead to heart muscle damage which can harm the electrical conduction system. Ablation burning or freezing of the heart tissue can correct abnormal electrical pathways.
- Defibrillators: External or internal devices can detect when the heart is beating out of sync and shock it back into proper function. Researchers are currently developing portable AEDs that at-risk people can carry with them.
- Procedures: If you have a genetic condition that puts you at a higher risk for electrical heart concerns, a surgical procedure may correct the condition.
- Stents: Scaffold-like devices can open up blocked coronary arteries and improve blood flow, preventing future heart attacks that could lead to SCA.
How To Prevent A Heart Attack
Though heart attacks are more common than cardiac arrest, theyre also easier to prevent with certain lifestyle changes. A heart-healthy diet is the best place to start. Mediterranean diets and vegan diets are known for being especially heart-healthy, but the key is to minimize saturated and trans fats, emphasize vegetables and fruits, and keep sodium at a minimum.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, with a preferred cap of 1,500 milligrams. Saturated fat should be limited to no more than 5-6% of daily calories consumed. In terms of sugar intake, the AHA recommends no more than 150 calories worth of sugar per day for men, and no more than 100 calories per day for women.
In addition, every adult should strive for at least 30 minutes of activity every day and avoid harmful habits like smoking and excess alcohol consumption. If you have a condition that exacerbates your heart attack risk, such as diabetes, take steps to keep it under control. Finally, remember that stress can be a trigger for heart attacks. This is an often-overlooked risk factor, but its very important to keep stress levels under control. Finally, try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
Can A Heart Attack Cause A Cardiac Arrest
Not all heart attacks result in a cardiac arrest. Only in five to ten per cent cases, there are chances of a person getting a cardiac arrest after a heart attack, according to Dr Mukesh Goel, senior consultant, cardiologist, Indraprastha Apollo hospitals. This happens if during a heart attack, blood supply is cut off to a large portion of the heart and it stops beating.
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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 body’s 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 individual’s likelihood of experiencing a heart attack, cardiac arrest or stroke. Immediate – and proper -action is necessary in treating each of these life-threatening episodes.
Stroke Risk Assessment
Can Sudden Cardiac Arrest Be Prevented
You may be able to lower your risk of SCA by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. If you have coronary artery disease or another heart disease, treating that disease can also lower your risk of SCA. If you have had an SCA, getting an implantable cardioverter defibrillator can lower your chance of having another SCA.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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What Should I Do If I Think That Someone Has Had An Sca
Many public places such as schools, businesses, and airports have automated external defibrillators . AEDs are special defibrillators that untrained people can use if they think that someone has had SCA. AEDS are programmed to give an electric shock if they detect a dangerous arrhythmia. This prevents giving a shock to someone who may have fainted but isn’t having SCA.
If you see someone who you think has had SCA, you should give cardiopulmonary resuscitation until defibrillation can be done.
People who are at risk for SCA may want to consider having an AED at home. Ask your cardiologist to help you decide whether having an AED in your home might help you.
What To Do In The Event Of A Cardiac Arrest
Almost all instances of SCA are reversible if treated immediately. If you see someone who is experiencing cardiac arrest, call 911 immediately and express the urgent need for emergency medical services.
There are two steps required to restore the victims heart rhythm and save their life:
If at all possible, get your hands on an automatic external defibrillator. Public environments like offices, hotels, or gyms typically have AED devices for cases of emergency. One person should immediately start administering CPR while another person retrieves the defibrillator.
To perform CPR, push down firmly on the victims chest at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes per minute. After each push, wait for the chest to return to its normal position. One common trick is to time your pushes to the beat of the song Stayin Alive. This will help you to maintain the optimal pace. If no AED is available, continue doing this until emergency services arrive.
If an AED is available, turn it on and follow the audible instructions to provide the necessary heart shocks and restore the rhythm. Contemporary AEDs are designed for ease of use, providing voiceand in some cases visualinstructions to guide you through the entire process.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cardiac Arrest
A heart attack may provide days or even weeks worth of warning, but cardiac arrest comes on without prior indication in approximately 50% of cases. This is another significant difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack.
With that said, a heart attack can often lead to sudden cardiac arrest if the lack of circulation to the affected portion of the heart continues without treatment, resulting in the electrical malfunction and associated loss of effective heart pumping.
This lack of an effective heartbeat, also known as sudden cardiac arrest, is considered clinical death, although resuscitation is possible with the rapid use of a defibrillator in combination with effective CPR. When symptoms are present prior to a sudden cardiac arrest, they are often similar to those of a heart attack, including:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
When SCA sets in, the victim loses consciousness and stops breathing. Because the heart has stopped, the victim will have no pulse. Action must be taken immediately, as the victims chance of survival decreases by about 10% with each passing minute. Normal heart function must be restored within about 10 minutes, preferably less.
Whats The Difference Between A Heart Attack And A Cardiac Arrest
A heart attack is not the same as a cardiac arrest. They are two different types of cardiac event.
A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. Normal breathing stops and consciousness is lost.
A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery becomes blocked, preventing blood flow to part of the heart muscle. During a heart attack a person remains conscious and keeps breathing.
Sometimes a heart attack can cause a cardiac arrest. This is because a person who is having a heart attack may develop a dangerous heart rhythm, which causes a cardiac arrest. A heart attack and a cardiac arrest are both emergency situations. Call 111 straight away.
Can Sudden Cardiac Death Be Prevented
If you have any of the risk factors for sudden cardiac death , it is important that you speak with your doctor about possible steps to reduce your risk.
Keeping regular follow-up appointments with your doctor, making certain lifestyle changes, taking medications as prescribed, and having interventional procedures or surgery are ways you can reduce your risk.
Follow-Up Care With Your Doctor: Your doctor will tell you how often you need to have follow-up visits. To prevent future episodes of sudden cardiac arrest, your doctor will want to perform diagnostic tests to determine what caused the cardiac event. Tests may include electrocardiogram , ambulatory monitoring, echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, and electrophysiology studies.
Ejection Fraction : EF is a measurement of the percentage of blood pumped out of the heart with each beat. EF can be measured in your doctor’s office during an echocardiogram or during other tests such as a MUGA scan, cardiac catheterization, nuclear stress test, or magnetic resonance imaging scan of the heart. The EF of a healthy heart ranges from 55% to 75%. Your EF can go up and down, based on your heart condition and the effectiveness of the therapies that have been prescribed. If you have heart disease, it is important to have your EF measured initially, and then as needed, based on changes in your condition. Ask your doctor how often you should have your EF checked.
When To See A Doctor
Both heart attack and heart failure are serious conditions. If left untreated, they can be fatal.
Anyone who experiences symptoms of a heart attack or heart failure should immediately seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Receiving prompt treatment can make a big difference to a personâs chance of recovery.
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How Is Cardiact Arrest Treated
A cardiac arrest is a medical emergency which is often fatal if not treated quickly with a combination of cardio pulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation.
CPR is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions. It provides oxygen to the lungs and keeps oxygenated blood circulating until an effective heartbeat and breathing can be restored. By knowing and performing CPR, you may save a life.
Defibrillation is the use of an electric shock through the chest wall to correct the VF. It is carried out using a machine called a defibrillator.
Members of the public can access community defibrillators at thousands of locations across New Zealand. The machines provide automated instructions on how to use them.
Primary Care For Heart Health In North Richland Hills Texas
Here at EMC Express Care, our experienced medical team offers primary care to patients who are at risk of heart conditions. Our compassionate physicians provide a personal touch and will give you an evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment so you can get back to living your life.
Just walk right in during our extended hours every day! If you have any questions about our urgent care clinic, feel free to call us at 503-8800. We look forward to taking care of you and your family.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Usually, the first sign of SCA is loss of consciousness . This happens when the heart stops beating.
Some people may have a racing heartbeat or feel dizzy or light-headed just before they faint. And sometimes people have chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting in the hour before they have an SCA.
What To Do In The Event Of A Heart Attack
If you sense that youre having a heart attack or you see someone having a heart attack, call 911 or emergency services right away. Ask for emergency medical services, as they can start administering treatment as soon as they arrive.
You may be tempted to drive to the hospital, but its better to let emergency services take care of it. They understand the proper protocols and sufferers who arrive by ambulance to the emergency room typically receive treatment faster.
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Key Differences Between Heart Attack & Cardiac Arrest
Heart attacks usually occur due to the blockage of a coronary artery in the heart. Cardiac Arrests usually occur when the heart stops beating due to certain reasons. The primary cause for getting heart attacks is due to the blood clots that occur in the arteries. Cardiac arrests cause the stopping of the heart, leading to heart failure primarily due to Ventricular fibrillation. Heart attacks may be caused due to a variety of different factors including drowning, shock, hypothermia etc. Cardiac arrests, on the other hand, can also occur due to heart attacks. Symptoms of a heart attack are chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. Symptoms of a cardiac arrest are unconsciousness, shortness of breath and no pulse Heart attack victims are usually smokers and people with unhealthy diets. Cardiac arrest victims may also be overweight people and those without regular exercise.
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What Is The Treatment For A Heart Attack Or Cardiac Arrest
Both heart attacks and cardiac arrest are emergencies that need immediate medical care.
The treatment for a cardiac arrest is cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. CPR involves doing chest compressions to help the heart pump blood through the body and giving breaths to help deliver oxygen to the lungs.
Another important part of treating a cardiac arrest is using an automated external defibrillator, or AED. An AED is a simple-to-use machine that can analyze the hearts rhythm and deliver an electric shock, if necessary, to treat an abnormal rhythm.
There are many different treatments for a heart attack. Often, treatment involves a combination of medications that:
Thin the blood
Slow down the heart rate
Depending on the type of heart attack, a procedure known as a cardiac catheterization to help improve blood flow to the heart may be necessary. Some people may only need a cardiac catheterization, but others may need other procedures, such as an emergency heart surgery known as coronary artery bypass graft .
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