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Warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Although many people use the terms cardiac arrest and heart attack interchangeably, they aren’t actually the same. According to the American Heart Association, a heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.

Signs and Symptoms

While it is commonly believed that sudden cardiac arrest has no symptoms, there are warning signs that often go ignored. Warning signs and symptoms can appear up to two weeks before cardiac arrest takes place. Some people may experience the following:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting

What to Do if Someone Experiences Sudden Cardiac Arrest

In the United States, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death, claiming more than 475,000 lives in a given year. Because sudden cardiac arrest can become fatal within minutes, you must know what to do if someone around you goes into cardiac arrest.

It is critical that you dial 911 immediately if you suspect that someone is going into cardiac arrest. Until emergency medical services arrive, it is important that you perform CPR. Follow these steps outlined by the American Red Cross, which can also seen in this video:

  • Place your hands, one on top of the other, in the middle of the chest and administer compressions at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute. You’ll be doing 1 to 2 compressions every second.

  • With the head tilted back and the chin lifted, pinch the nose and place your mouth over the person's mouth to deliver two rescue breaths.

  • Return to delivering compressions and repeat until visible signs of life such as breathing or until an EMT or trained medical responder arrives on the scene.

Cardiovascular Care in Titusville

When it comes to supporting your cardiovascular health, it is important to find a specialist you can depend on. The Cardiovascular Team at Parrish Medical Center has a proven quality and safety track record in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of heart, pulmonary (lungs), and vascular conditions.

Learn more information about our cardiovascular services and take our Heart Risk Assessment today.