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    Cardiac Arrest

    Health    Cardiac Arrest
    Also called: SCA, Sudden cardiac death

    The heart has an internal electrical system that controls the rhythm of the heartbeat. Problems can cause abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias. There are many types of arrhythmia. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or it can stop beating. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart develops an arrhythmia that causes it to stop beating. This is different than a heart attack, where the heart usually continues to beat but blood flow to the heart is blocked.

    There are many possible causes of SCA. They include coronary heart disease, physical stress, and some inherited disorders. Sometimes there is no known cause for the SCA.

    Without medical attention, the person will die within a few minutes. People are less likely to die if they have early defibrillation. Defibrillation sends an electric shock to restore the heart rhythm to normal. You should give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a person having SCA until defibrillation can be done.

    If you have had an SCA, an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) reduces the chance of dying from a second SCA.

    NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

    Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

    The following features are indicative of Cardiac Arrest:
    • sudden collapse
    • no pulse
    • no breathing
    • loss of consciousness
    References: 1

    Common Causes of Cardiac Arrest

    The following are the most common causes of Cardiac Arrest:
    • coronary artery disease
    • heart attack
    • enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy)
    • valvular heart disease
    • congenital heart disease
    • electrical problems in the heart
    References: 2

    Risk Factors of Cardiac Arrest

    The following factors may increase the likelihood of Cardiac Arrest:
    • family history of coronary artery disease
    • smoking
    • high blood pressure
    • high blood cholesterol
    • obesity
    • diabetes
    • sedentary lifestyle
    • drinking too much alcohol

    Prevention of Cardiac Arrest

    Yes, it may be possible to prevent Cardiac Arrest. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
    • reduce high blood pressure
    • take preventive measures against blood clots, heart attack, stroke, angioplasty, coronary artery bypass grafting
    References: 3

    Occurrence of Cardiac Arrest.

    Degree of Occurrence

    The following are number of Cardiac Arrest cases seen each year worldwide:
    • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

    Common Age Group

    Cardiac Arrest most commonly occurs in the following age group:
    • Can happen at any age

    Common Gender

    Cardiac Arrest most commonly occurs in the following gender:
    • Not gender specific
    References: 4

    Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Cardiac Arrest

    The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Cardiac Arrest:
    • Electrocardiogram: To detect the electric activity of the heart
    • Blood Tests: To find out the levels of hormones and electrolytes into the blood
    • Chest X-ray: To check the size of the blood vessels
    • Echocardiogram: To identify whether an area of the heart has been damaged by a heart attack
    References: 5, 6

    Doctor for Diagnosis of Cardiac Arrest:

    Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Cardiac Arrest:
    • Cardiologist

    Complications of Cardiac Arrest if Untreated

    Yes, Cardiac Arrest causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Cardiac Arrest is left untreated:
    • brain damage
    • can be fatal
    References: 2

    Procedures for Treatment of Cardiac Arrest

    The following procedures are used to treat Cardiac Arrest:
    • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Maintains a flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body's vital organs
    • Coronary Angioplasty: Opens blocked coronary arteries
    • Coronary bypass surgery: Restores blood flow to heart
    • Corrective heart surgery: Correct abnormalities that improves heart rate and blood flow
    References: 7

    Self-care for Cardiac Arrest

    The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Cardiac Arrest:
    • Quit smoking
    • Limit alcohol intake
    • Regular exercise: Stay physically active by performing exercises
    References: 8

    Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Cardiac Arrest

    The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Cardiac Arrest:
    • Use traditional Chinese medicine: Yiqi Huoxue improves the heart function by inhibiting the apoptosis
    References: 9

    Patient Support for Treatment of Cardiac Arrest

    The following actions may help Cardiac Arrest patients:
    • Family Support: Promotes self care in heart failure
    References: 10

    Time for Treatment of Cardiac Arrest

    While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Cardiac Arrest to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
    • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced
    References: 11, 12

    Related Topics - Cardiac Arrest

    Questions - Cardiac Arrest

    No, a cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack due to its pathophysiology. Often people use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked by the plaque in the arteries and a cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. 
    A heart attack is commonly referred to a circulation problem while a cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. While these two heart conditions are different, they are connected to one another. A sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack or when one is recovering from a heart attack. Usually, after a heart attack, patients would be given aspirin and other antiplatelet agents and taken to the cardiac catheterization lab for imaging and possible percutaneous coronary intervention. Treatment for cardiac arrest is a little different as you would want to start CPR immediately and defibrillate the patient with an automatic external defibrillator if their rhythm was shockable.
    While sudden cardiac death isn't a common consequence of a heart attack, having a heart attack does increase your risk for sudden cardiac death and if some are having cardiac arrest would be most likely preceded by a heart attack.
    1. Heart Attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest: How Are They Different? American Heart Association, 19 Sept. 2016. URL: Accessed March 16, 2018
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    Hello, I am Sameera My father had seizures from past 10 yrs, Diabetic from 22 yrs, high blood pressure. Hospitalized many times for seizures. Recently, after health check-up, Dr told that his heart condition is weak and only 30% of the heart is functioning. Blood thinners are being given for proper blood circulation. However, 2 weeks ago he got lungs infection and admitted to a hospital. He was in the drowsy state completely for 10 days. After better medication he became active. However, after 10 days Dr prescribed Celepid 10 and after that is given he started becoming dull and drowsy completely. What to do to get out of the situation, is there any treatment that can be given for this?
    Before I answer your question, I would like to say that I have a background in Pharmaceutical chemistry and I am not a doctor. To be absolutely sure, please consult a cardiologist.
    Based on your question, I did research and found that Celepid is a milky-white emulsion of soybean oil-in-water, and is used as a source of concentrated energy as well as to counter the essential fatty acid deficiencies in critically ill patients. The dull and drowsy condition cannot occur with Celepid.
    There may be some other health issue with your father. Consult a cardiologist, regarding the present health issues.
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    News, Updates and Latest Articles - Cardiac Arrest

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    Which Drugs Are Effective for Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death in HFrEF?

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    New clinical trial examines use of adrenaline to treat cardiac arrests

    Thursday, July 19, 2018 -- A clinical trial of the use of adrenaline in cardiac arrests has found that its use results in less than 1% more people leaving hospital alive - but almost doubles the risk of severe brain damage for survivors of cardiac arrest.

    PARAMEDIC2: Epinephrine increases rate of 30-day survival in cardiac arrest

    Thursday, July 19, 2018 -- Clifton W. CallawayPatients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treated with epinephrine were more likely to survive at 30 days compared with those treated with placebo, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.Analysis of survival, neurologic outcomeGavin D. Perkins, MD, professor of critical care medicine and director of the clinical trial unit at University of Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed data from 8,014 patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest who were provided life support from five ambulance services in the United

    Wearable cardioverter defibrillator compliance in children reduces risk for sudden cardiac death

    Tuesday, June 26, 2018 -- Children with ventricular arrhythmias who wore a cardioverter defibrillator were generally likely to comply with appropriate wear times and durations, according to a study published in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.“Our results, which stem from the largest study to date among children in the United States using wearable cardioverter defibrillators, suggest that these external devices can help save the lives of children who are, at the time, not good candidates for surgically implanted defibrillators because of their medical condition,” David Spar, MD, assistant


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    3. NIH How Can Death Due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest Be Prevented? - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    4. Wikipedia Cardiac arrest - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    5. Mayo Clinic Sudden cardiac arrest - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    6. Pubmed Health Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    7. Mayo Clinic Sudden cardiac arrest - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    8. Mayo Clinic Sudden cardiac arrest - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    9. Xiong X, Borrelli F, De sá ferreira A, Ashfaq T, Feng B. Herbal medicines for cardiovascular diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:809741. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    10. Mayo Clinic Dunbar SB, Clark PC, Quinn C, Gary RA, Kaslow NJ. Family influences on heart failure self-care and outcomes. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2008;23(3):258-65. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    11. Wikipedia Cardiac arrest - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    12. Nusbaum DM, Bassett ST, Gregoric ID, Kar B. A case of survival after cardiac arrest and 3½ hours of resuscitation. Tex Heart Inst J. 2014;41(2):222-6. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    13. Source:

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    This page was last updated on 7/31/2018.
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