Getting to Know Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Because it has been tagged as the leading “killer disease” in the US, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is something to be understood and dealt with responsibly. There are several basic facts that are at least must be kept in mind by anyone, whether medical expert or not. At the same time, there are several SCA misconceptions that should be dispelled to avoid taking inappropriate actions, especially when you are dealing with someone’s between-life-and-death situation.
Sudden cardiac arrest is basically defined as a life-threatening heart condition wherein the heart sharply and unpredictably stops functioning. It is otherwise described as the absence of the electrical impulse needed by the heart to retain proper heart functionality. Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is the heart rhythm disorder that causes this “electrical problem” of the heart. This disorder results to the inability of the heart pump blood to and from different parts of the body, resulting to cardiac arrest.
It must be understood that SCA is not the same with heart attack, which is technically called as myocardial infarction (MI). Heart attack is mainly characterized by a blockage in one of the patient’s blood vessels, resulting to interruption in the blood flow throughout the heart and other vital organs of the body. This blockage could lead to the accumulation of dead heart muscles, and in some cases, could trigger ventricular fibrillation. Hence, it is possible for MI (or heart attack) and VF (or sudden cardiac arrest) to take place at the same time.
Furthermore, SCA takes place when the electrical signals that determine the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles) contractions suddenly become unorganized and move rapidly. This is where the ventricles start to palpitate and no longer capable of pumping blood to and from the heart. Fortunately, the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) was developed to become a sufferer’s weapon against threats of ventricular fibrillation. This innovative device is implanted under the patient’s skin to monitor his heart’s rhythm and automatically release the necessary electric shock to correct the irregularities in the electrical signals that work in the ventricles.
For those who can’t afford to have an ICD implant, enough knowledge on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) could still be of great help to lower the cases of death due to SCA. In its most basic essence, CPR is a first aid applied in the form of at least 5cm-deep chest compressions. These chest compressions are ideally done at a rate of 100 per minute, especially for individuals who are not medical experts. When applying CPR alone, the chance of saving the sufferer’s life ranges from about 5% to 10% only. However, if you can maximize this percentage range by as much as times once you already know the professional way of doing CPR and other related prescribed actions.
In order to learn the precise and professional CPR, you can go for the CPR training offered by Citywide CPR. This training course will introduce you to a myriad of helpful topics for preparing you to become a professional CPR practitioner. Once you have successfully completed this CPR training, you can now be more confident on applying CPR to anyone who needs it, anytime and anywhere.