Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of deaths. However, not all of us are informed about this fatal health condition.
Cardiac arrests have become a common source of death over the years. It is defined as the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not has been diagnosed with heart diseases. In most cases, it can be fatal if immediate steps are not taken. Regardless of age, we have seen that a lot of people lost their lives to this silent sudden attacker. According to the American Heart organization, each year more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur just outside the hospital setting in the United States alone.
According to Mayo Clinic, a sudden cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness. The condition is said to be caused due to some electrical disturbances in the heart that interrupts the pumping action leading to a blood flow stoppage. Here are a few things that you should know about cardiac arrests that will increase your chances of survival and will also safeguard yourself from such a situation.
Calling 911 immediately is the best but the average response time is 6-12 minutes. According to reports, a person who suffered from cardiac arrest should be given some treatment within 4 minutes to increase their chances of survival.
The person you may be with may be perfectly normal but would suddenly drop unconscious on the floor. While most people think that the reason is a heart attack, it is important to note that the person has become unconscious because of a cardiac arrest which is completely different from a heart attack. A heart attack is usually caused due to a blockage that stops the flow of the blood to the heart. However, in a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating properly.
Though most of us think that cardiac arrests and heart diseases are associated with older people. The truth is that cardiac arrests can happen to any person of any age. However, it is commonly seen in people between 20-30. The risk of cardiac arrest only increases with age.
Cardiac arrests occur in people who already have heart malfunctions. These malfunctions are responsible for the abnormal heart rhythms such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Cardiac arrests are also caused when the normal rhythm of the heart slows down. These irregularities in heartbeats can cause sudden cardiac arrests.
People who are known to have increased physical activity and are involved in sports such as football and basketball are prone to experience sudden cardiac arrests. According to CardioSmart, when the heart of an athlete works faster and pumps faster, adrenaline is pumped throughout the body and the heart needs more supply of oxygen than normal. In people who have heart problems, these extra stress conditions may trigger the electrical system of the heart at the wrong time leading to a cardiac arrest.
Most of the times, cardiac arrest happens to people who already have a diseased heart. Hence, CPR and the use of a defibrillator which is supposed to help the heart restart does not work. Sadly, these two life-saving mechanisms only work 7-10 percent.
People who are prone to cardiac arrests are often scared of getting a sudden attack while on vacation or out in the office. However, it might be surprising to know that 88 percent of these arrests take place while the person is at his home.