Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating or starts beating very slowly or irregularly, insufficiently. It is always an emergency that can lead to death within minutes if not treated quickly.
What Are The Causes Of Cardiac Arrest?
The heart may stop beating or only beat poorly due to:
- Electric shock
- Hypovolemic shock
- Heart disease such as myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, aortic dissection, cardiac tamponade, heart failure, bundle branch block
- Cerebrovascular accident
- Respiratory failure
Individuals with heart problems, chronic lung diseases, smokers, people with diabetes, obese people, people with high cholesterol, high triglycerides, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and inadequate diet are at greater risk of cardiac arrest.
What Are The Effects Of Cardiac Arrest?
The heart is the pump that drives blood to circulate in the arteries and reach the peripheral organs. If this pump stops working or only works very poorly, these organs don’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need and suffer. The first organ to react in this way is the brain. The individual goes into a coma and dies soon after if the cardiac arrest is not reversed quickly, restoring blood flow.
What Are The Main Clinical Features Of Cardiac Arrest?
A person with cardiac arrest suffers from fainting, stops breathing, and has no pulse in the arteries. Cardiac arrest can occur suddenly, without warning, or be preceded by tiredness, fainting, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or vomiting.
How Does The Doctor Diagnose Cardiac Arrest?
To verify clinically if there is a cardiac arrest which can be treated by a cardiologist such as cardiocare cardiologist for example, it is necessary to verify whether the heart is or is not beating through the pulses. Generally, the most accessible and easily indicative pulse is taken in the carotid arteries, placing the hand on the patient’s neck close to his throat. When auscultated with a stethoscope, the sounds typical of cardiac contractions and dilations will not appear. If an electrocardiogram monitors the patient, the scan tracing will show unmistakable signs of cardiac arrest. Also, the echocardiogram will show a lack of movement of the heart.
How Do Doctors Treat Cardiac Arrest?
Initial treatment for cardiac arrest is to get the heart to beat again as quickly as possible. This can be achieved through cardiac massage and through the use of a device called a defibrillator. When the heart starts beating again, it is necessary to do tests that show the cause of the cardiac arrest so that, in this way, it can be treated and the repetition of the cardiac arrest can be avoided. In some cases, it may be necessary to implant a pacemaker or even an implantable defibrillator (small devices that decrease or reverse cardiac arrest).