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Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest is a severe heart condition. During cardiac arrest, your heart suddenly stops pumping blood around your body. When the heart stops pumping blood, the brain is starved of oxygen. This result in unconsciousness and the person stops breathing.
Our heartbeat is controlled by electrical impulses. Arrhythmia is the change of these electrical impulses, which occurs when the heartbeat becomes irregular. Few arrhythmias are slow, and others are rapid. When the rhythm of the heart stops, it results in cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest is a critical health issue. Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you're experiencing symptoms of cardiac arrest. It is life-threatening. Timely and immediate response can save your life.
 

Cause of Cardiac Arrest

Many factors can cause sudden cardiac arrest. Two of the most common cardiac arrest are ventricular and atrial fibrillation.

Ventricular Fibrillation: This is the most common cause of cardiac arrest. The heart has four chambers. There are two lower chambers called the ventricles. When ventricular fibrillation occurs, these chambers quiver out of control, causing the heart's rhythm to change dramatically. This results in inefficient pumping by the ventricles. Hence, it severely decreases the amount of blood pumped through the body. In most cases, it could lead to sudden death because the blood circulation completely stops.

Atrial Fibrillation: There are two upper chambers called the atria. When atrial fibrillation occurs, the sinoatrial (SA) node doesn't send out the correct electrical impulses. The SA node, located in the right atrium functions as to how quickly the heart pumps blood. The ventricles can't pump blood out to the body efficiently when the electrical impulse goes into atrial fibrillation.

The risk for Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest can be caused by certain heart conditions and health factors that increase your risk of cardiac arrest.

  • Coronary Heart Disease: The coronary arteries supply the heart muscle itself. The heart does not receive blood when they become blocked, and thus it may stop working correctly.
  • Large Heart: A large heart is also placed at high risk for cardiac arrest because it may not beat correctly, and muscles are more prone to damage.
  • Irregular Heart Valves: Valve disease leads to making heart valves leaky or narrower. The heart chamber become weak or enlarged when the blood circulating through the heart either overloads the chambers with blood or does not fill them.
  • Congenital Heart Disease: If you are born with heart damage or a severe heart problem. It is called a congenital heart problem and cause cardiac arrest.
  • Electrical Impulse Problems: When you face problems with your heart's electrical system, this increases your risk of sudden cardiac death.

Other risk factors for cardiac arrest include:

  • smoking
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • family history of heart disease
  • history of a previous heart attack
  • aging over 45 for men and over 55 for women
  • male gender
  • substance abuse
  • low potassium or magnesium
     

Signs and Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

Following are the symptoms of cardiac arrest, and you should visit the doctor if you:

  • become dizzy
  • are short of breath
  • feel fatigued or weak
  • experience vomiting
  • experience heart palpitations

Prompt medical emergency care is needed if you or someone you are with experiences these symptoms:

  • chest pain
  • no pulse
  • not breathing or difficulty breathing
  • loss of consciousness
  • collapse

However, cardiac arrest may not have symptoms before it occurs. If you do have persistent symptoms that persist, seek immediate medical care.
 

Diagnosing Cardiac Arrest

ECG: During cardiac arrest, seek medical treatment immediately to focus on getting the blood flowing back to your body. The doctor will perform a test called an electrocardiogram to identify the type of abnormal rhythm your heart is experiencing. The ECG will reveal disturbances in heart rhythm or detect unusual electrical patterns, such as a prolonged QT interval, that increase your risk of sudden death.
Blood tests: The doctor may order blood tests to look for signs of a heart attack. They can also measure potassium, magnesium, hormones, and other chemicals that can affect your heart's ability to function.
Chest X-ray and Echocardiogram is another imaging test that can also be used to look for other signs of disease in the heart.
 

Treating Cardiac Arrest

  • CPR: To treat Cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is performed. This helps in maintaining a flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body's vital organs. It involves pushing hard and fast on the person's chest — at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute, allowing the chest to rise between compressions fully.
  • Defibrillation: For advanced care for ventricular fibrillation, an electrical shock is delivered through the chest wall to the heart. This procedure momentarily stops the heart and the chaotic rhythm. This often allows the normal heart rhythm to resume once it has stopped.
  • Medication can also be used to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Surgery such as Coronary angiography and coronary bypass surgery can also repair damaged blood vessels or heart valves. It helps in removing blockages in the arteries.
  • Corrective heart surgery can also be performed to correct the abnormality that might improve your heart rate and blood flow, reducing your risk of fatal arrhythmias.

Lifestyle and home remedies

To live a heart-healthy lifestyle:

  • Don't smoke.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Manage stress.
     

Our Doctors

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Dr. (Gp Capt) Ashish Chauhan (Retd)

Senior Consultant - Centre for Advanced Cardiac care
Sarvodaya Hospital and Research Centre

Retired from Indian Air Force after 28 years of service

(Gp Capt) Dr Ashish Chauhan (Retd) practices as a Consultant - Cardiac care at Sarvodaya Hospital Research Centre ..
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Sarvodaya Hospital and Research Centre, faridabad

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Dr. (Gp Capt) Ashish Chauhan (Retd)

Senior Consultant - Centre for Advanced Cardiac care,

Retired from Indian Air Force after 28 years of service

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Dr. A.Sampath Kumar

Senior Consultant- Cardiac Sciences
Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali

Dr. A.Sampath Kumar practices as a Consultant-Cardiothoracic Surgery at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali ..
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Dr. Abhay Kumar

Senior Consultant - Cardiac Sciences
Max Super Speciality Hospital,Saket

Dr.Abhay Kumar practices as a Consultant-Cardiac Science at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket   ..
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Max Super Speciality Hospital,Saket, New Delhi

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Dr. Abhay Kumar

Senior Consultant - Cardiac Sciences,

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Dr. Adil Rizvi

Principal Consultant - Cardiac Sciences
Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj

Dr. Adil Rizvi practices as a Principal Consultant-CARDIAC SURGERY (CTVS) at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj ..
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Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, Delhi

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Dr. Adil Rizvi

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Dr. Ajeet Bana

Chairman- Cardiac Sciences
Eternal Hospital

Dr. Ajeet Bana is a renowned CTVS surgeon with experience of over 12,000 surgeries including beating heart CABG, Valve Surgery. ..
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Eternal Hospital, Jaipur

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Dr. Ali Zamir Khan

Consultant - Cardiac Surgery
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Dr. Amit Chandra

Director - Cardiac Surgery
Medanta

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Medanta, Gurugram

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Dr. Amit Chandra

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Dr. Amit Chaudhary

Hony. Visiting Consultant - CTVS
National Heart Institute Delhi

He has an experience of 17 years in this field.

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Dr. Amita Yadav

Attending Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon
National Heart Institute Delhi

Dr. Amita Ydav practices as an Attending Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the National Heart Institute ..
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National Heart Institute Delhi, Delhi

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Dr. Amita Yadav

Attending Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon,

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