What Happens to the Body During Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest is a serious condition that is often confused with a heart attack or heart failure. However, cardiac arrest is different from both and requires specific treatment methods such as using a defibrillator.

Defibrillators deliver an electrical shock to the heart to try to restore the heart’s normal electrical signals. If you notice that someone is in cardiac arrest, don’t hesitate to take action. One of the benefits of CPR certification is that it gives you the tools to confidently respond to sudden cardiac arrest emergencies. Read on to learn more about what cardiac arrest does to the body and what you need to do to respond to cardiac arrest.

What is cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest, also called sudden cardiac arrest, is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating and cuts off blood flow to the brain and other organs. Sudden cardiac arrest is an emergency and is fatal if left untreated.

What Happens During Cardiac Arrest?

Electrical signals control your heart rhythm. When these electrical signals are interrupted, the heart begins to beat irregularly. Several types of arrhythmias can occur and some are not dangerous. An irregular heartbeat, called vestibular fibrillation, is the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest.

When ventricular fibrillation occurs, the heart stops pumping oxygenated blood around the body. It can be fatal within minutes.

Link to heart disease

Most people at risk of sudden cardiac arrest also have coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease causes less blood flow to your heart, and it can lead to a heart attack that damages your heart’s electrical system.

What else causes cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest occurs for other reasons, including the following:

  • Severe blood loss or lack of oxygen.
  • Intense exercise, if you have heart problems
  • Potassium levels that are too high cause deadly heart rhythm problems.
  • Genetic disorders can increase the propensity for arrhythmias.
  • Changes in the structure of your heart. For example, enlarged hearts or changes caused by an infection can interrupt the heart’s electrical signals and contribute to sudden cardiac arrest

Is cardiac arrest a heart attack?

Your heart usually doesn’t stop during a heart attack like it does during cardiac arrest. One or more arteries become clogged during a heart attack and stop blood flow, preventing the heart from getting enough oxygen. The lack of oxygen can kill heart tissue.

However, there may be a link between heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest. The scar tissue that grows from heart attacks can interfere with the heart’s natural signals and put you at risk for cardiac arrest. Heart attacks themselves can also cause cardiac arrest.

Is Cardiac Arrest Heart Failure?

Cardiac arrest is an immediate crisis while heart failure is a gradual condition in which the heart weakens over time until it can no longer send enough blood and oxygen around your body. When your cells lack these nutrients, your body begins to deteriorate. You may find it harder to catch your breath or do simple things like carrying groceries or walking up the stairs.

Who is at risk for cardiac arrest?

While there is no specific cause for cardiac arrest, there are a few known risk factors:

  • Those with coronary artery disease.
  • Men are more likely to have a cardiac arrest.
  • Past arrhythmias or cardiac arrest. Family history of arrhythmias or cardiac arrest.
  • Smoking and alcohol abuse.
  • Diabetes, high blood pressure or heart failure.
  • obesity.
  • One or more heart attacks.

It is important to note that sudden intense emotions, such as uncontrolled anger, can lead to arrhythmias that trigger cardiac arrest. Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can also make you more likely to experience sudden cardiac arrest. If you struggle with any of these conditions, see a doctor to see what treatment options are available.

What to do if someone has a sudden cardiac arrest?

If someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest, you should treat them immediately with a defibrillator. A defibrillator is a device that delivers a shock to your heart in an attempt to restore a normal heartbeat. The shock must be delivered within minutes to help. First responders such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics typically have a defibrillator and understand how to use it. Many public places also have an on-site automated external defibrillator that anyone can use.

How to use an AED

You do not need any training to use an AED. The device prompts and detects the arrhythmia so that it can deliver the appropriate shock to the heart. If you think someone is in cardiac arrest, you should immediately contact the medical authorities and perform CPR until they arrive.

What should you do after a cardiac arrest?

After you recover from cardiac arrest, you should see a cardiologist to check your electrical system and develop a treatment plan. If you do this, you can prevent another cardiac arrest. You may also need blood tests to check your heart.

What Other Tests Should You Get?

  • EKG
  • Echocardiography
  • Cardiac MRI

What is an ICD?

If you are in cardiac arrest, you may also receive an ICD, a small automatic defibrillator

It implants under your skin and sends an electric shock when it detects an irregular heartbeat. Your doctor will recommend it if you have severe heart disease or have already had cardiac arrest.

How can you prevent sudden cardiac arrest?

Eating pattern: Get plenty of vegetables and limit your unhealthy fats such as saturated fat and trans fat.

watch your weight- Obesity can contribute to cardiac arrest.

stress management By learning stress reduction techniques and exercising more often, you can reduce the risk of sudden heart rest.

Quit smoking- Smoking is a known cause of heart disease and often leads to sudden cardiac arrest.

Conclusion – What happens to the body during cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical rhythms are interrupted and the heart stops pumping oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. It can be fatal within minutes and requires the assistance of a defibrillator and medical treatment.

But bystanders can also contribute. If you witness a sudden cardiac arrest, you can perform CPR. If you are with someone else, you can ask them to look for an AED during CPR. To perform CPR correctly, you should consider getting your online CPR certificate. You can visit an online CPR certification provider to get your CPR certification at your own pace.

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