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sudden cardiac arrest : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


 What is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating. When that happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. If it is not treated, SCA usually causes death within minutes. But quick treatment with a defibrillator may be lifesaving.

A coronary failure is totally different from AN SCA. A coronary failure happens once blood flow to the guts is blocked. Throughout a coronary failure, the guts sometimes do not suddenly stop beating. With AN SCA, the guts stop beating.

Each year, or so zero.1% of the U.S. population experiences a medical services-assessed, out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest. European studies have an analogous incidence starting from zero.04% to 0.1% of the population. The median age within the North American country is between age sixty six and sixty eight. Males are a lot likely to suffer from sudden cardiopulmonary arrest.

What is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)?
sudden cardiac arrest

While rare, sudden internal organ death is the leading explanation for nontraumatic explanation for death among young athletes. within the general population, sports-related, extra time from any cause is zero.5 to 2.1 per 100,000 yearly. Sports-related, sudden deaths are higher in elite athletes with AN incidence of 1:8,253 each year per the National body Athletic Association (NCAA). NCAA Division I male basketball players have a 1:5200 incidence of extra time.

A time unit peak of sudden internal organ death happens between half a dozen am and an hour, and a smaller peak happens within the late afternoon. The incidence of sudden internal organ death is higher on Mondays.

After a myocardial infarct, the danger of sudden internal organ death is highest throughout the primary months because of fatal tachyarrhythmias, re-infarction, or cardiac muscle rupture.

Ventricular fibrillation (VF) and cavum cardiac arrhythmia (VT) were at first thought to be the foremost common causes of out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest. more modern studies show dead, electrical activity (PEA) and cardiopulmonary arrest as a lot of frequent. or so five hundredth of patients at first have cardiopulmonary arrest, and nineteen to twenty third have PEA because the 1st identifiable rhythm.

Immediately following OHCA the blood flow to the brain slows to primarily zero and ultimately results in death.

Some patients expertise palpitations, dizziness, or close to syncope before sudden cardiopulmonary arrest. Nearly half the patients United Nations agency have sudden internal organ arrests report no symptoms before collapse.

The yankee Heart Association recommends vas screening for prime college and body athletes. This includes AN analysis of the athlete's personal and case history and a physical examination.

  1. Circulatory system

  1. Heart

  2. Arteries

  3. Veins

  4. Capillaries

Medical terms

  • Sudden pathology is the abrupt loss of heart function, respiratory and consciousness. The condition sometimes results from a tangle together with your heart's electrical system that disrupts your heart's pumping action and stops blood flow to your body.
  • Sudden pathology is not the same as an attack, once blood flow to a section of the center is blocked. However, an attack will generally trigger AN electrical phenomenon that results in unforeseen pathology.
  • If not treated instantly, unforeseen pathology will cause death. Survival is feasible with quick, applicable treatment. CPR (CPR), employing an electronic device — or maybe simply giving compressions to the chest — will improve the probabilities of survival till emergency employees arrive.
  •  Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating depriving the brain and other vital organs of oxygen The body responds by going into a state of shock When this happens an individual has less than five minutes to live unless CPR is administered immediately Because it is usually caused by underlying heart problems such as coronary artery disease or arrhythmias sudden cardiac arrest can strike people in seemingly good health at any age It claims more lives annually than breast cancer and AIDS combined but Sudden Cardiac Arrest doesn't have to end in death; immediate recognition and treatment may save a life. 

How is sudden cardiac arrest (AV) Node different from a heart attack?

Sudden cardiopulmonary arrest isn't an attack (myocardial infarction). Heart attacks occur once there's a blockage in one or a lot of the coronary arteries, preventing the guts from receiving enough oxygen-rich blood. If the chemical element within the blood cannot reach the guts muscle, the guts becomes broken.

In distinction, explosive cardiopulmonary arrest happens once the electrical system to the guts malfunctions and suddenly becomes terribly irregular. The guts beat hazardously quick. The ventricles could flutter or quiver (ventricular fibrillation), and blood isn't delivered to the body. Within the 1st jiffy, the best concern is that blood flow to the brain is reduced thus drastically that someone can lose consciousness. Death follows unless emergency treatment is begun in real time.

Emergency treatment includes mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (CPR) and medical care. CPR keeps enough chemical elements within the lungs and gets it to the brain till the conventional cardiac rhythm is restored with an electrical shock to the chest (defibrillation). moveable defibrillators employed by emergency personnel, or public access defibrillators (AEDs) could facilitate saving the person’s life. 

Symptoms Sudden cardiac arrest

Some individuals could experience a sports heartbeat or they'll feel dizzy, alerting them that a doubtless dangerous cardiac rhythm downside has started. In over half the cases, however, explosive cardiopulmonary arrest happens while not having previous symptoms.

Signs of sudden cardiac arrest are immediate and drastic and include:

  • Sudden collapse

  • No pulse

  • No breathing

  • Loss of consciousness

Sometimes other signs and symptoms occur before sudden cardiac arrest. These might include:

  • Chest discomfort

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weakness

  • Fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart (palpitations)

But sudden cardiac arrest often occurs with no warning.

When to see a doctor

Call 911 or emergency medical help if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:

  • Chest pain or discomfort

  • Heart palpitations

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats

  • Unexplained wheezing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fainting or near fainting

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

When the guts stop, the shortage of oxygen-rich blood will cause death or permanent brain injury inside minutes. Time is crucial once you are serving to associate unconscious one who is not respiration.

If you see somebody who's unconscious and not respiration unremarkably, do the following:

  • Call 911 or emergency medical help. If you have immediate access to a telephone, call before beginning CPR.

  • Perform CPR. Quickly check the person's respiration. If the person is not respiration unremarkably, begin CPR. Push laborious and quick on the person's chest — at the speed of one hundred to a hundred and twenty compressions a second. If you have been trained in emergency procedures, check the person's airway and deliver rescue breaths once each thirty compressions.
    If you haven't been trained, simply continue chest compressions. enable the chest to rise fully between compressions. Keep doing this till a conveyable electronic device is obtainable or emergency staff arrive. 

  • Use a portable defibrillator, if one is out there. it'll offer you gradual voice directions. Continue chest compressions whereas the electronic device is charging. Once it's charged, the electronic device can check the person's rhythm and advocate a shock if required. Deliver one shock if suggested by the device then like a shot resume kiss of life, beginning with chest compressions, or provide chest compressions solely, for approximately 2 minutes.
    Using the electronic device, check the person's rhythm. If necessary, the electronic device can provide another shock. Repeat this cycle till the person recovers consciousness or emergency employees take over.
    Portable automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are units on the market in several places, together with airports, casinos and shopping malls. you'll additionally purchase one for your home. AEDs escort constitutional directions for his or her use. they are programmed to permit a shock only applicable. 

Causes Sudden cardiac arrest

Your heart has an Associate in Nursing electrical system that controls the speed and rhythm of your heartbeat. Associate in Nursing SCA will happen once the heart's electrical system isn't operating right and causes irregular heartbeats. Irregular heartbeats area unit referred to as arrhythmias. There are different units. they will cause the center to beat too quick, too slow, or with Associate in Nursing irregular rhythm. Some will cause the center to prevent pumping blood to the body; this can be the kind that causes SCA.

The usual reason behind fast cardiopulmonary arrest is Associate in Nursing abnormal regular recurrence (arrhythmia), that happens once your heart's electrical system is not operating properly.

The heart's electrical system controls the speed and rhythm of your heartbeat. If one thing goes wrong, your heart will beat too quickly, too slowly or on an irregular basis (arrhythmia). Usually these arrhythmias are temporary and harmless, however some sorts will cause fast cardiopulmonary arrest.

The most common regular recurrence at the time of cardiopulmonary arrest is Associate in Nursing cardiac arrhythmia in a very lower chamber of your heart (ventricle). Rapid, erratic electrical impulses cause your ventricles to

Heart conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest

Sudden cardiopulmonary arrest will happen in people that haven't any best-known cardiomyopathy. However, a grave cardiopathy sometimes develops in a person with a pre-existent, presumably unknown cardiovascular disease. Conditions include:

  • Coronary artery disease. Most cases of sudden pathology occur in people that have arteria coronaria malady, during which the arteries become clogged with sterol and alternative deposits, reducing blood flow to the center. 

  • Heart attack. If an attack happens, typically as a result of severe artery sickness, it will trigger cardiac arrhythmia and abrupt cardiopulmonary arrest. Also, an attack will leave connective tissue in your heart. Electrical short circuits round the connective tissue will cause abnormalities in your cardiac rhythm. 

  • Enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy). This occurs primarily when your heart's muscular walls stretch and enlarge or thicken. Then your heart's muscle is abnormal, a condition that often leads to arrhythmias.

  • Valvular heart disease. Leaking or narrowing of your heart valves will result in stretching or thickening of your muscle. Once the chambers become enlarged or weakened due to stress caused by a decent or leaky valve, there is AN inflated risk of developing cardiac arrhythmia. 

  • Heart defect present at birth (congenital heart disease). When explosive cardiopulmonary arrest happens in youngsters or adolescents, it may be because of non heritable cardiovascular disease. Adults who've had corrective surgery for a non heritable heart defect still have a better risk of explosive cardiopulmonary arrest. 

  • Electrical problems in the heart. In some folks, the matter is within the heart's electrical system itself rather than a retardant with the guts muscle or valves. These area units are known as primary regular recurrence abnormalities and embrace conditions like Brugada syndrome and long QT syndrome. 

Risk factors Sudden cardiac arrest

Because fast cardiopulmonary arrest is therefore typically joined with arteria unwellness, similar factors that place you in danger of arteria unwellness may place you in danger of fast cardiopulmonary arrest. These include:

  • A family history of coronary artery disease

  • Smoking

  • High blood pressure

  • High blood cholesterol

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • An inactive lifestyle

Other factors that might increase your risk of sudden cardiac arrest include:

  • A previous episode of cardiac arrest or a family history of cardiac arrest

  • A previous heart attack

  • A personal or family history of other forms of heart disease, such as heart rhythm disorders, congenital heart defects, heart failure and cardiomyopathy

  • Growing older — the risk of sudden cardiac arrest increases with age

  • Being male

  • Using illegal drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines

  • Nutritional imbalance, such as low potassium or magnesium levels

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

  • Chronic kidney disease

Complications sudden cardiac arrest

When sudden asystole happens, reduced blood flow to your brain causes cognitive state. If your rhythm does not chop-chop back to traditional, brain injury happens and death results. Survivors of asystole would possibly show signs of brain injury.

Prevention sudden cardiac arrest

Reduce your risk of sharp asystole by obtaining regular checkups, being screened for heart condition and living a wholesome style.

What is the most common cause of cardiac arrest?

The most common cause of cardiac arrest is coronary artery disease a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle The presence of plaque can narrow or block the coronary arteries reducing or cutting off blood flow to the heart When this happens oxygen-deprived (ischemic) cells begin producing energy anaerobically by using sugar instead of oxygen leading to damage and cell death In time these damaged cells lead to permanent scar tissue formation within the heart muscle and can ultimately cause a fatal arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat Read on for more details about what causes coronary artery.

Are there warning signs before cardiac arrest?

Many cardiac arrests happen without warning But it is possible to identify some symptoms that may indicate a pending heart attack and the need to call 911 right away The following are potentially significant warning signs: Pain in the chest neck jaw or arm often felt as pressure and tightness It may be mild at first but then increases rapidly in intensity Discomfort radiating from the chest into either arm back or stomach area This discomfort can vary from a dull ache to a feeling of "pressure." Pain may radiate towards the shoulder blade on one side of the body or go into the back between shoulder blades.

How can cardiac arrest be prevented?

Cardiac arrest causes roughly 450,000 deaths a year Many of these deaths can be prevented by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) CPR is the combination of chest compressions and rescue breathing Chest compressions move blood through the body to vital organs such as the heart and brain Rescue breathing provides oxygen throughout the body so that it may heal after cardiac arrest has been reversed with this process.

What happens right before cardiac arrest?

It all starts with an unhealthy heart Fatty deposits build up in the arteries which reduces blood flow to your heart muscle Your heart tries to compensate by beating harder and faster but that can cause abnormal rhythms called arrhythmias or trigger cardiac arrest When this happens you may briefly lose consciousness as your brain and body shut down until paramedics arrive.

What foods prevent cardiac arrest?

Heart disease is still a leading cause of death among Americans Unhealthy eating habits and inactivity are two major causes of cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks or cardiac arrest Fortunately there are certain foods that can help protect against heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk for hypertension These healthy foods include fruits and vegetables whole grains fiber-rich foods and low-fat dairy products.

Diagnosis Sudden cardiac arrest

SCA happens hastily and needs emergency treatment. Health care suppliers seldom diagnose SCA with medical tests as it's happening. Instead, it's typically diagnosed once it happens. suppliers try this by ruling out different causes of somebody's fast collapse.

If you're at high risk for SCA, your supplier might refer you to a heart surgeon, a doctor UN agency specializes in heart diseases. The heart surgeon might raise you to induce varied heart health tests to examine how well your heart is functioning. He or she is going to work with you to choose whether or not you wish treatment to forestall SCA.

If you survive fast pathology, your doctor can try and learn what caused it to assist stop future episodes. Tests your doctor might advocate include:

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

During AN electrocardiogram, sensors (electrodes) that may find the electrical activity of your heart square measure connected to your chest and typically to your limbs. AN electrocardiogram will reveal disturbances in regular recurrence or find abnormal electrical patterns, like a protracted QT interval, that increase your risk of extra time.

Blood tests

A sample of your blood may well be tested to ascertain the degree of atomic number 19, magnesium, hormones and different chemicals which will have an effect on your heart's ability to operate. different blood tests will observe recent heart injury and heart attacks.

  1. Blood analysis

  2. Blood count

  3. Blood typing

Imaging tests

These might include:

  • Chest X-ray. This allows your doctor to check the size and shape of your heart and its blood vessels. It might also show whether you have heart failure.

  • Echocardiogram. This check uses sound waves to provide a picture of your heart. It will facilitate establish whether or not area unita|a neighborhood|a district|a region|a locality|a vicinity|a part|a section} of your heart has been broken by a heart failure and is not pumping arduously enough or whether or not there are issues together with your heart valves.
    This check et al, together with a nuclear scan, MRI, CT scan and internal organ catheterization, will all confirm your heart's pumping capability by measuring what is known as the ejection fraction, one among the foremost necessary predictors of your risk of unforeseen pathology. Ejection fraction refers to the share of blood that is pumped up out of a stuffed ventricle with every heartbeat.
    A normal ejection fraction is five hundredth to seventieth. an associate degree ejection fraction of but four-hundredth will increase your risk of unforeseen pathology. 

  • Nuclear scan. This test, typically through an assay, helps determine blood flow issues to your heart. small amounts of stuff, like metal, are injected into your blood. Special cameras will sight the stuff because it flows through your heart and lungs

  • Coronary catheterization. During this procedure, a liquid dye is injected into the arteries of your heart through a protracted, skinny tube (catheter) that is advanced through AN artery, typically in your arm, to arteries in your heart. because the dye fills your arteries, the arteries appear on X-ray and videotape, revealing areas of blockage.
    While the tube is in position, your doctor might treat a blockage by gaping the artery (angioplasty) and inserting a tube to carry the artery open. 

Treatment Sudden cardiac arrest

If you survive SCA, you will probably be admitted to a hospital for current care and treatment. within the hospital, your medical team can closely watch your heart. they'll offer you medicines to undertake to scale back the chance of another SCA.

They will additionally try and verify what caused your SCA. If you are diagnosed with arteria coronaria sickness, you will have an associated surgical process or arteria coronaria bypass surgery. These procedures facilitate restoring blood flow through narrowed or blocked coronary arteries.

Often, folks that have had SCA get a tool known as associate implantable cardioverter electronic device (ICD). This little device is surgically placed below the skin in your chest or abdomen. Associate ICD uses electrical pulses or shocks to assist management of dangerous arrhythmias.

You may be ready to lower your risk of SCA by following a wholesome manner. If you've got arteria coronaria sickness or another cardiomyopathy, treating that sickness can even lower your risk of SCA. If you've got an associate SCA, obtaining an associate implantable cardioverter electronic device (ICD) will lower your likelihood of getting another SCA.

Sudden cardiac arrest requires immediate action for survival.


Immediate CPR is crucial for treating sudden asystole. By maintaining a flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body's important organs, CPR will offer a significant link till more-advanced emergency care is out there.

If you do not understand CPR and somebody collapses unconscious close to you, decide 911 or emergency medical facilitate. Then, if the person is not breathing ordinarily, begin pushing exhausting and quick on the person's chest — at a rate of a hundred to a hundred and twenty compressions a second, permitting the chest to totally rise between compressions. try this till an automatic external electronic device (AED) becomes on the market or emergency personnel arrive.


Advanced care of fibrillation, a sort of heart disease which will cause fast cardiopulmonary arrest, usually includes delivery of associate degree physiological reaction through the chest wall to the guts. The procedure, referred to as medical aid, momentarily stops the guts and therefore the chaotic rhythm. This typically permits the conventional cardiac rhythm to resume.

Defibrillators square measure programmed to acknowledge fibrillation and send a shock only if it's applicable. These moveable defibrillators, like AEDs, square measure more and more on the market publically places, as well as airports, looking malls, casinos, health clubs, and community and golden age centers.

At the emergency room

Once you arrive within the ER, the medical employees can work to stabilize your condition and treat a potential heart failure, heart disease or solution imbalances. you could possibly learn medications to stabilize your cardiac rhythm.

Long-term treatment

After you recover, your doctor can refer to you or your family what different tests may facilitate to confirm the explanation for the asystole. Your doctor also will discuss preventive treatment choices with you to scale back your risk of another asystole.

Treatments may include:

  • Drugs. Doctors use varied antiarrhythmic medicine for emergency or semipermanent treatment of heart diseases or potential arrhythmia complications. a category of medicines known as beta blockers is often utilized in folks in danger of unforeseen pathology.
    Other potential medicine that may be wont to treat the condition that crystal rectifiers to the heart disease embrace angiotensin-converting accelerator (ACE) inhibitors and atomic number 20 channel blockers. 

  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). After your condition stabilizes, your doctor is probably going to suggest an associate degree ICD, a powered unit that is placed into your body close to your left clavicle. One or additional electrode-tipped wires from the ICD run through veins to your heart.
    The ICD perpetually monitors your rhythm. If it detects a rhythm that is too slow, it paces your heart as a pacemaker would. If it detects a dangerous rhythm modification, it sends out low- or high-energy shocks to reset your heart to a traditional rhythm. 

  • Coronary angioplasty. This procedure opens blocked coronary arteries, renal blood flows a lot freely to your heart, which could scale back your risk of great cardiac arrhythmia. A long, skinny tube is associated true|gone through|had|undergone|saw|felt|responded to|suffered} an artery, typically in your leg, to a blocked artery in your heart. This tube is supplied with a special balloon tip that concisely inflates to open the blocked artery.
    At an equivalent time, a metal mesh tubing can be inserted into the artery to keep it open in the future, restoring blood flow to your heart. Coronary surgical process is done at an equivalent time as a coronary catheterization, a procedure that doctors do to find narrowed arteries to the guts. 

  • Coronary bypass surgery. Also called coronary artery bypass grafting, bypass surgery involves sewing veins or arteries in place at a site beyond a blocked or narrowed coronary artery, restoring blood flow to your heart. This can improve the blood supply to your heart and reduce the frequency of racing heartbeats.

  • Radiofrequency catheter ablation. This procedure is often accustomed to block one abnormal electrical pathway. One or a lot of catheters square measure rib through your blood vessels to within your heart. They are positioned on electrical pathways known by your doctor as inflicting your cardiac arrhythmia.
    Electrodes at the tube tips square measure heated with radiofrequency energy. This destroys a little spot of heart tissue associated creates an electrical block on the pathway that is inflicting your {arrhythmia|cardiac cardiac arrhythmia|heart disease|heart condition|cardiomyopathy} to prevent your arrhythmia. 

  • Corrective heart surgery. If you've got an innate heart deformity, a faulty valve or morbid muscle tissue thanks to heart condition, surgery to correct the abnormality may improve your pulse and blood flow, reducing your risk of fatal arrhythmias. 

More Information

  • Cardiac ablation

  • Coronary angioplasty and stents

  • Coronary bypass surgery

  • Heart transplant

  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs)

Lifestyle and home remedies

To live a heart-healthy lifestyle:

  • Don't smoke.

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation — no more than one drink a day for women and men older than 65 and no more than two drinks a day for younger men.

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.

  • Stay physically active.

  • Manage stress.


If you have already got a heart condition or conditions that cause you to be additionally susceptible to heart condition, your doctor would possibly suggest that you simply take steps to enhance your health, like taking medications for top steroid alcohol or managing polygenic disease.

If you have got a particular heart condition that places you in danger of explosive asystole, your doctor would possibly suggest anti-arrhythmic medication.


If you have a known risk of asystole, your doctor would possibly suggest an associate degree implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. you may think about getting an automatic external electronic device for home use. Discuss this along with your doctor. AEDs are costly and are not continuously coated by insurance.


If you reside with somebody United Nations agency is in danger of explosive cardiopulmonary arrest, it is vital that you just be trained in the kiss of life. The yank nongovernmental organization and alternative organizations provide courses in kiss of life and electronic device use.

Being trained can facilitate not solely your lover, however your coaching may facilitate others. The more people acumen to retort to an internal organ emergency, the bigger the survival rate for explosive cardiopulmonary arrest is probably going to be.

  1. Cardiac rehabilitation and circulatory rehabilitation

General summary

  1. in the hospital Effective therapeutic hypothermia is a treatment method for patients who experience sudden cardiac arrest In this treatment cooling of the body to 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33.3 Celsius) or lower within six hours of experiencing cardiac arrest appears to improve survival and neurologic function in these patients It also decreases swelling caused by fluid shifting from the inside of blood vessels toward the outside which improves blood flow in coronary arteries—arteries that provide oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.

sudden cardiac arrest : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

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