What is a cardiac arrest and what to do if someone suffers from it?

Cardiac Arrest: Dr. Anup Taksande, Consultant Cardiologist and Dr. Nimit Shah, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist has shared vital information on the same. Read on to know more.
Cardiac Arrest,Health & FitnessWhat is a cardiac arrest and what to do if someone suffers from it?

Cardiac arrest is a serious heart condition and one should not ignore the signs and symptoms of the same. When someone suffers from cardiac arrest, the heart ceases to beat and that's why it is also known as sudden cardiac death. This heart condition is one of the major causes of death and disability in the world. Today we learned that renowned and legendary choreographer Saroj Khan passed away due to a cardiac arrest. If you are curious to know what exactly it is and what action one should take then read on. 

Dr. Anup Taksande, Consultant cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospital Mira Road, explained, "A cardiac arrest can be triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that leads to an irregular heartbeat (known as arrhythmia). Since the pumping action is disturbed, the heart finds it difficult to pump blood to the brain, lungs and other parts of the body." He added, "One having a cardiac arrest tends to become unconscious and has no pulse, no breathing, and chest discomfort. One can die if he/she doesn’t get treatment at the right time. To prevent a cardiac arrest, screen the patient for a family history of sudden cardiac death, go for regular follow-ups with the doctor, quit smoking and alcohol."

 Dr Nimit Shah, Consultant Interventional cardiologist at Sir H N Reliance hospital shared what actions one should take during cardiac arrest:

If cardiac arrest is suspected, immediate action is warranted as even a few minutes delay can be fatal.

Call for help from standby persons immediately and seek immediate medical help.

By the team of medical help arrives, immediate resuscitation can be life-saving.

This our the steps recommended by Resuscitation organizations

Tap and shout. Check if the person responds. Tap him and shout, “Are you OK?” If he doesn’t move, speak, blink, or otherwise react, then he is not responding.

Yell for help. Tell someone to call for medical help and get an AED (automatic external defibrillator) if one is available.

Check to breathe: If the person isn't breathing or is only gasping, give CPR (chest compression and artificial breathing) if the person is trained to do so. 

Use an AED as soon as it arrives by turning it on and following the prompt if the person is trained. 

Treatment

Dr Nimit revealed about the same. He said, "If the patient survives the cardiac arrest the treatment will depend on the cause of the cardiac arrest and outcome of the cardiac arrest."

"If the cardiac arrest is due to the heart attack and the patient survives after immediate resuscitation without any brain damage, emergency treatment of heart attack by opening up the block artery will be life-saving and reduce the risk of further cardiac arrest and complications."

"The survivors of the cardiac arrest may have some degree of brain injury and impaired consciousness. Some remain in a persistent vegetative state."

"Depending on the cause of the cardiac arrest, they may require simple strategy like correcting the underlying abnormality, or they might require short or prolong ventilation, physiotherapy, rehabilitation and prolong nursing care depending on the outcome of the cardiac arrest."

Signs of cardiac arrest

Dr. Nimit said, "There are usually no symptoms or warning before a cardiac arrest depending on the cause of cardiac arrest. If someone is in cardiac arrest: they will be unconscious, they won’t be responsive, they won’t be breathing, or breathing abnormally (gasping)."

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