Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac arrest is a condition when the heart stops beating suddenly. This condition causes sufferers to lose consciousness and even stop breathing. 

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs due to disturbances in the heart 's electricity so that the heart stops pumping blood throughout the body. This condition can cause permanent brain damage to death. Patients need to be given first aid in the form of CPR and cardiac shock, so they don't get complications.

Causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack . Heart attack occurs due to blockage of blood vessels. While sudden cardiac arrest is caused by ventricular fibrillation. However, ventricular fibrillation can also be caused by a heart attack.

Ventricular fibrillation is a type of heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia). This condition is characterized by the ventricles (chambers) of the heart that only vibrate, not beat to pump blood. As a result, the blood supply that carries oxygen and nutrients to the body's organs will stop.

Anyone can experience sudden cardiac arrest. However, this condition is more risky in people who have a history of heart disease in the form of:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart muscle disease ( cardiomyopathy )
  • Heart valve disorders
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Marfan's Syndrome
  • Torsade de pointes

Apart from people with heart disease, factors that increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest are:

  • Smoking habit
  • Obesity and morbid obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • High blood pressure ( hypertension )
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Wolf Parkinson's White syndrome
  • Imbalance of potassium and magnesium levels in the blood
  • Drug use, such as cocaine or amphetamines
  • Family history of heart disease or sudden cardiac arrest
  • Rarely exercise and not actively move

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition that occurs suddenly. In general, the main symptom of sudden cardiac arrest is fainting. However, some sufferers of sudden cardiac arrest may experience initial symptoms in the form of:

  • Dizzy
  • Weak
  • Chest pain
  • Hard to breathe
  • Heart beat

When to see a doctor

Sudden cardiac arrest is an emergency that must be treated immediately. If you see someone who is unconscious and not breathing normally, check their pulse immediately and call the nearest ambulance or hospital.

While waiting for medical help to arrive, also do emergency treatment in the form of CPR . Also use an automated external defibrillator ( AED ) if available.

Symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest occur quickly and unnoticed. Even so, the initial symptoms can usually be felt by sufferers a few days earlier. Therefore, immediately do a doctor 's examination if you experience symptoms like the one above, especially if you have a history of heart disease.

Diagnosis of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

On arrival at the hospital, the doctor will check the patient's heart rate. The doctor will also install a monitor to check the heart rhythm. Furthermore, the doctor will carry out treatment until the patient's condition is stable or his heart starts beating again.

If the patient's condition is stable, the doctor will carry out further tests to diagnose the causes or trigger factors for sudden cardiac arrest. These checks may include:

  • Blood
    tests Blood tests are done to check the levels of potassium, magnesium or certain hormones that affect heart function. Blood tests can also be done to detect injuries or a history of heart attack in people with sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Chest X- ray Photo Chest
    X-ray is done to check the size and structure of the heart and heart blood vessels. Through this examination, the doctor can also detect whether the patient has heart failure.
  • Echocardiography
    Echocardiography or ultrasound of the heart aims to identify damage to the heart.
  • Cardiac Catheterization
    In cardiac catheterization , the doctor will inject a special dye into the blood vessels leading to the heart. This examination aims to detect blockages in blood vessels.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Treatment

Treatment of sudden cardiac arrest consists of emergency treatment and long-term treatment. Here is the explanation:

Emergency handling

Emergency treatment aims to restore consciousness in patients with sudden cardiac arrest. This is done by emergency medical personnel, who begin by checking the patient's breathing and pulse.

If the patient's heart is not beating, the medical team will perform CPR and administer electric shocks on the way to the hospital. After the heart beats again, the patient will be treated in the intensive care unit ( ICU ) and given a breathing apparatus.

Long term treatment

Long-term treatment aims to treat sudden cardiac arrest according to the cause and prevent this condition from happening again in the future. Some long-term treatments that can be given by doctors are:

  • Drugs
    Administration of drugs is done when the patient's condition stabilizes until the patient returns home. The type of drug that can be prescribed by a doctor is a class of antiarrhythmic drugs , which function to treat heart rhythm disturbances.
  • Cardiac shock device implant (ICD)
    A device called an ICD will be attached to the left side of the chest to detect heart rhythms. If the heartbeat is weak or irregular, this tool will work to normalize the heart rhythm again.
  • Angioplasty
    This procedure is performed to improve blood flow so that the heart muscles receive an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients. Under certain conditions, angioplasty is accompanied by a heart ring installation procedure .
  • Cardiac
    ablation Cardiac ablation aims to block the abnormal electrical pathways that cause arrhythmias. This procedure is carried out by inserting a catheter into a blood vessel connected to an electrode.

  • Heart bypass surgery In heart bypass surgery , the doctor will install new blood vessels in the heart as an alternative to blocked blood vessels. The new blood vessels are taken from other organs.
  • Heart repair
    surgery Heart repair surgery aims to repair congenital heart defects and repair and replace damaged heart valves . This procedure can help increase the heart rate and maintain blood flow to the heart.

Complications of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Complications of sudden cardiac arrest are permanent brain damage, hypoxia , and even death. In some cases, people with sudden cardiac arrest can still be treated and eventually recover.

However, patients with sudden cardiac arrest who recover generally also experience a number of complications in the form of:

  • Nerve damage
  • Movement disorders
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest can be prevented by undergoing regular health checks, including heart disease screening, and keeping your heart healthy. Some efforts that can be made to maintain heart health are:

  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight for obese people
  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Eat healthy food for the heart
  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage stress well
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