Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Below you will find more information about Sudden Cardiac Arrest from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Sudden Cardiac Arrest and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Sudden Cardiac Arrest comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Sudden cardiac arrest pertains to a sudden, unexpected loss of breathing, heart function, and consciousness. Also known as sudden cardiac death, this condition is a medical emergency that, if untreated, can be fatal.

Diagnosis

Sudden cardiac arrests are almost never predicted. In most cases, patients may seem healthy. However, regular medical checkups may help physicians identify risk factors for conditions that might lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

Treatment

Sudden cardiac arrest is an urgent emergency situation, and immediate treatment is crucial in the patient's survival. A first step in emergency treatment is immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to maintain blood flow in the body's vital organs. Defibrillation may also be done to restore heart function. A medical team will usually work together to stabilize the patient's condition in the emergency room. If the patient has stabilized, treatment will then consist of medications; implantation of cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD); coronary angioplasty; coronary bypass surgery; radiofrequency catheter ablation; corrective heart surgery; and heart transplantation.

Symptoms and Signs

In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, the symptoms are often drastic and appear quite suddenly without warning. Typically, sudden cardiac arrest occurs with: sudden collapse, loss of pulse or heart functions, no signs of breathing, and loss of consciousness. In some instances, other symptoms may precede sudden cardiac arrest, including: fainting, fatigue, blackouts, chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitations, or vomiting. Most of the time, however, sudden cardiac arrest occurs with no warning whatsoever.

Causes

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs as a result of certain anomalies in the heart's rhythm (a condition known as arrhythmia), which in turn indicates a malfunction in the electrical system of the heart. Predisposing heart conditions such as coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and other illnesses may also trigger sudden cardiac arrest.

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