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Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Their Treatment, Diagnosis & Recovery

Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition that can cause sudden death. It happens when the heart suddenly stops beating. Unlike a heart attack caused by arteries getting blocked, cardiac arrest is caused by faults in the heart’s electrical system. When someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, they collapse and become unresponsive. Symptoms are also sudden and need immediate treatment.

What Happens In A Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

The heart’s electrical system is responsible for sending impulses that make it beat. Sudden cardiac arrest causes abrupt, abnormal, and rapid impulses, which override the regular impulses that make the heart beat. When this happens, the heart stops, and the oxygen supply to the brain and body is cut off. The patient should be taken to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment.

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest causes unconsciousness, and the individual might faint. Some of the symptoms patients experience before collapsing include;

  • Chest pain
  • A racing heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness

Causes of a Cardiac Arrest

  • Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation causes the heart chambers to quiver out of control, changing the rhythm dramatically. It reduces the amount of blood supply in the body, and when circulation stops, it can cause sudden death.

  • Coronary artery disease

People with coronary artery disease can suffer sudden cardiac arrest when the arteries become clogged. Clogged arteries reduce the blood flow, which affects the rhythm of the heartbeat.

  • Heart attack

A heart attack can trigger ventricular fibrillation, which leads to cardiac arrest. It can also leave scar tissues in the heart, causing electrical shorts that lead to abnormal heart rhythms.

  • Enlarged heart

When the heart walls stretch and thicken or enlarge, they could lead to arrhythmias.

Diagnosis Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Doctors at the best Cardiac Hospital in India will recommend these tests to help prevent future cardiac arrest instances.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Sensors are attached to your chest or limbs to detect the heart’s electrical activity in an ECG test. The ECG reveals changes in the heart rhythm and patterns that could expose you to cardiac arrest.

  • Blood tests

The doctors will take your blood sample and test them to check for magnesium, potassium, hormones, and chemical levels that could affect your heart’s functionality.

  • Imaging tests

Chest X-ray – Your doctor will check the shape and size of your heart and blood vessels to detect heart failure.

Echocardiogram – An echocardiogram test uses sound waves to image your heart and identify areas where a heart attack has caused damage. It can also show whether your heart is not pumping hard enough or if there are problems with the heart valves.

Nuclear scan – A nuclear scan is done with a stress test that identifies blood flow problems in the heart. Tiny amounts of thallium are injected into the bloodstream, and special cameras follow the blood flow through the heart and lungs.

Treating Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest needs immediate medical attention to help the individual survive. Some treatments include;

CPR

The first treatment for a sudden cardiac arrest is CPR to restore the normal flow of oxygen-rich blood in the body organs. If someone suffers a cardiac arrest and you are not familiar with CPR, call for emergency medical help from the nearest hospital. 

Defibrillation

Defibrillation is an advanced care procedure for ventricular fibrillation to stop the arrhythmia. The specialist will deliver electrical shocks to the heart to restore optimal heartbeat in this procedure. These tools are programmed to send shocks when they notice any ventricular fibrillation.

Long-Term Cardiac Arrest Treatment

Max Healthcare has the best cardiac specialists to treat various heart conditions. They are the best cardiac hospital in India providing high-end diagnoses with the help of the latest medical equipment. Some of the treatments the doctors there may recommend for patients include;

  • Coronary angioplasty

Angioplasty involves opening blocked coronary arteries to allow free blood flow into the heart to prevent arrhythmia. A tube is passed through the artery in the limbs to a blocked heart artery. This catheter has a special balloon that is inflated to open the blockage.

  • Coronary bypass surgery

Bypass surgery is a major cardiac procedure to treat multiple arterial blockages in the heart. In this procedure, the patient is kept on a bypass machine while the cardiac surgeon repairs the blocked arteries to restore blood flow. It improves the heartbeat’s frequency and blood supply to the heart.

Recovery after Cardiac Arrest Treatment

After major heart surgery, you will be placed in a coronary care or intensive care unit. After this phase, you can also be referred to cardiac rehabilitation to regain strength levels and build your confidence. Some lifestyle changes to minimize the risk of another cardiac arrest include;

  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating healthy food
  • Staying physically active
  • Cutting down alcohol consumption

Cardiac arrest can cause sudden death when the patient does not get medical care. When a person faints from a sudden cardiac arrest, they need CPR or defibrillation. In case neither is available, call for emergency service. After getting treatment, a person needs constant care and monitoring to prevent another cardiac arrest.

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