Sudden cardiac arrest

Understanding sudden cardiac arrest and its potential causes is crucial for recognizing and responding to this life-threatening medical emergency. Learn about the types of sudden cardiac arrest, common underlying causes, and what to do if you or someone else experiences cardiac arrest. Prompt action and knowledge of CPR can make a difference in survival rates.

Medriva Correspondents
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Understanding Sudden Cardiac Arrest and its Potential Causes


What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly due to one of several causes. It occurs without warning and is a medical emergency that can be fatal without prompt treatment. Although it is often referred to as a heart attack, it is not the same as other forms of cardiac disease, such as heart failure or coronary artery disease.

Different Types of Sudden Cardiac Arrest


There are two main types of SCA: spontaneous and induced. Spontaneous SCA happens without any known cause, and is more common in younger people. It's also known as Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). Induced SCA, on the other hand, is caused by an outside source, such as a shock after an accident or electrocution.

Potential Causes

The most common underlying causes of SCA are heart diseases, such as coronary artery disease; arrhythmias, such as ventricular fibrillation; and certain congenital heart defects. Other potential causes of SCA include electrocution, inhalation of certain drugs, and viruses that affect the heart muscle.


What Should You Do if You Experience Cardiac Arrest?

If you think you or someone else is experiencing cardiac arrest, it's important to call 911 right away. The sooner you get help, the better chance of survival the person has. If there is someone trained in life-saving CPR nearby, they may be able to assist while waiting for an ambulance. Knowing CPR could be the difference between life and death in the case of sudden cardiac arrest.

It's also important to recognize the warning signs of cardiac arrest, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and palpitations. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help you get medical care faster, potentially saving someone's life.