Cardiac arrest is like an electrical system malfunction, with a “stop beating” heart outcome. And it takes a shot of electricity from a defibrillator electrical device to get the heart started again.
There are several causes for a cardiac arrest, some of which include:
- heart attack
- enlarged heart
- coronary heart/artery disease
- inherited disorders ~ tendency to develop arrhythmia
- structural changes ~ due to high blood pressure, heart disease, infections
- severe physical stress ~major blood loss, lack of oxygen, very low blood levels of potassium/magnesium, intense exercise with heart problems
A heart attack differs from cardiac arrest in that your heart usually continues to beat during a heart attack. It’s the blood flow to your heart that is blocked and not an electrical issue, initially anyway.
Typical cardiac arrest symptoms are sudden:
- no pulse
- no breathing
- loss of consciousness
Sometimes, other symptoms can precede cardiac arrest, such as:
Oftentimes, sudden cardiac arrest occurs without these symptomatic warnings.
Other risk factors for cardiac arrest are:
- heart failure
- illegal drug abuse
- personal or family history
- abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia)
- heart or blood vessels birth defects/an enlarged heart
In the past, 95% of those who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest die within minutes.
Now, rapid treatment via defibrillation, an electric shock that restores heart rhythm to normal, is a lifesaver. This is the role of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
An AED is a special defibrillator designed to be used by untrained bystanders in an emergency. AEDs are programmed to deliver a shock only if its computer detects the need.
Portable AEDs are becoming more and more available in public places. Also, HeartStart Home Defibrillators, AED, are available for use in your home. No prescription necessary!
Another key lifesaver for improving a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival is immediate performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR’s hard and fast pushes in the center of a victim’s chest technique manually keeps “a bit” of blood flowing. This slowing down the process of death buys precious time until AEDs defibrillation can be effectuated.
For those surviving a heart re-start, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device is often placed under their skin to continuously monitor the heart for dangerous rhythms, and immediately deliver an electric shock to restore a normal rhythm whenever one’s detected.
Diet, exercise and weight reduction are electrifying heart smart ways to lower your risk for CAD, which in turn lowers your risk for cardiac arrest, which in turn lowers your chances you’ll ever have a HeartStart AED and ICD defibrillator used on you.