Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition of the heart, characterized by unconsciousness and abnormal breathing pattern caused by the failure of the heart muscles to supply blood to the body. It may lead to death, if timely medical intervention is not made.
What causes SCA?
Arrhythmia or irregular heart beat is the reason for sudden cardiac arrest. In tachycardias, a type of Arrhythmia the heart beat tends to be too fast, more than 100 beats per minute, whereas in bradycardia, the heart beat is too slow. (Less than 60 beat per minute).
Uncoordinated contraction of the muscles of the lower chamber of the heart is known as ventricular fibrillation. This causes disruption in the synchrony between the heart beat and the pulse rate. If timely medical aid is not provided, it may consequently lead to asystole (absence of heart beat), and later death. Diagnosis for this condition can only be made by electrocardiography. Ischemic heart disease is the primary reason for the development of ventricular fibrillation. Ischemic heart disease results in reduced blood supply. In order to save a person from SCA, it is crucial to revive the heart to the sinus rhythm. Normal heart beat can be represented as a sine function (sinus rhythm). Any abnormality to this pattern may be an indication of heart disease. Ventricular fibrillation can be treated if and only medical intervention in the form of electric shock is provided within the time interval of 4 to 6 minutes.
How to treat SCA?
SCA and heart attacks are different in many respects. While heart attack is a result of blockage in the arteries, SCA is caused by ventricular fibrillation. In the event of the occurrence of heart attack the victim experiences severe chest pain but does not loose consciousness. SCA calls for immediate medical help as the victim does not have much time.
The course of action that needs to be followed is described below.
Call for medical help: According to The American Heart Association in cases like these it is vital to provide immediate medical intervention to avoid the condition from worsening. Immediately, call 911 for medical access.
CPR: Early cardio pulmonary resuscitation can prove to be extremely beneficial for the victims of SCA.
Defibrillators: Defibrillators are medical aids that help in resuscitating the heart to its normal functioning. The defibrillator delivers an electric shock to the heart muscles, which in turn stabilizes the heart beat. Automated External Defibrillator's (AEDs) are defibrillators that can be used by any untrained individual by simply following the voice instructions.
Florida Heart Group has been providing cardiovascular services since 1979. We aim to provide the best medical care to each of our patients. At Florida Heart Group, our team of well qualified cardiologists and support staff understands the value of human life endeavors to assist people with cardiovascular diseases.