Cardiac arrests are a common occurrence among Americans nowadays. According to the American Heart Association’s report, around 356,000 cardiac arrests occur out of the hospital in the US in a year. Out of these 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 90% of them are fatal.
A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops functioning, usually due to a malfunction in its electrical signals. This causes the heart to stop beating properly, and the heart stops pumping blood. When it stops pumping blood, your brain becomes deprived of oxygen. This is what causes someone who has a cardiac arrest to become unconscious and stop breathing.
It’s important to know that a cardiac arrest and a heart attack are two entirely different things. Contrary to the definition presented above, a heart attack occurs when blood is blocked from flowing to the heart. The heart muscles become more damaged the longer the arteries are blocked.
What causes cardiac arrests?
The likelihood of a person suffering from a cardiac arrest increases if they have a heart condition. This can range from thickened heart muscles, irregular heartbeats, and even congenital blood vessel abnormalities.
While a lot of these heart conditions may be caused by genetics or old age, heart conditions can sometimes occur because of certain medications or recreational drug abuse.
Is it possible to survive from a cardiac arrest?
While cardiac arrests can be lethal, survival is possible as long as the necessary support is given to the patient. It is important that medical attention be given immediately at the soonest, and this is where being certified to perform CPR can come in handy.
The moment a cardiac arrest occurs, the heart needs to be restarted in order to avoid irreparable brain damage. While waiting for emergency services to arrive, CPR has to be provided to the patient. If available, a defibrillator can and should be used to help the patient. Chest compressions should be done until paramedics arrive to take over the patient.
Giving CPR to a person who suffered from a cardiac arrest can increase their chances of survival. Getting trained or certified to perform this emergency medical service from a center like Lifesaver Education is one way of ensuring the survivability of people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest.
What are the symptoms of a cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrests, like other medical issues, usually have their own sets of signs and symptoms that you should be on the lookout for. Having chest pains or any discomfort in the chest region, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations may be an indication that a cardiac arrest may occur.
Most cardiac arrests happen without any warning though. If you do happen to see someone suddenly collapse and lose consciousness, check their breathing or a pulse. If both are absent, you should immediately start administering CPR and have someone call 911.
Being able to know what happens before a cardiac arrest and knowing how to deal with it is very important in order to ensure the safety and survival of the person who suffered from a sudden case of cardiac arrest.