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Cardiac Arrest: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Cardiac arrest can be explained as the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness. The condition is caused due to a problem with your heart's electrical system, thus, disrupting your heart's pumping action and blood flow.

Cardiac arrest and heart attacks are often thought to be the same, but they are not. A heart attack happens when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked but a heart attack can sometimes trigger an electrical disturbance, resulting in a sudden cardiac arrest.

A cardiac arrest can lead to death if medical help is not given immediately. Survival is possible with the help of fast and appropriate medical care. Let's have a look at the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiac arrest.Also ReadCardiac Arrest Common in Patients with Severe COVID-19: StudyADVERTISEMENT

Cardiac Arrest: Signs and Symptoms 

According to the doctors at Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest include:

  • Sudden collapse
  • Absence of pulse
  • Lack of breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Fast-beating heart
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats
  • Unexplained wheezing
  • Fainting or near fainting
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

Cardiac Arrest: Causes and Risk Factors 

The usual cause of a sudden cardiac arrest is an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), which is often the result of the heart's electrical system not working properly.

The heart's electrical system is responsible for controlling the rate and rhythm of your heartbeat. Whenever something goes wrong, your heart begins to beat faster, too slowly, or irregularly (arrhythmia). This usually happens briefly and is harmless, but it may lead to a sudden cardiac arrest at times.

According to the doctors at Cleveland Clinic, here are a few risk factors that increase the chances of a cardiac arrest:

  • Family history of coronary artery disease or cardiac arrest
  • History of cardiac arrest in one's lifetime or a heart attack in the past
  • Smoking
  • Personal or family history of heart rhythm disorders, congenital heart defects, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy
  • Males have a higher risk of cardiac arrest.
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Old age
  • Using illegal drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines
  • Nutritional imbalance
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Chronic kidney diseases

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