The Factor of Time in Sudden Cardiac Arrests
Time is the biggest factor when it comes to helping a cardiac arrest patient. Every year, there are more than a quarter million people that die from sudden cardiac arrest in the country. This means that cardiac arrest kills a person every two minutes, an alarming rate compared to other major diseases such as cancer. This is why a lot of information is circulated so that citizens can further understand what sudden cardiac arrest is, its symptoms, and ways to respond in the event of sudden cardiac arrest within proximity.
What is Cardiac Arrest?
Cardiac arrest is the sudden cessation of function of the heart muscles due to electric signals in the hear malfunctioning. The signals in disarray cause irregular heartbeats, which can turn deadly if ignored. Cardiac arrest can claim the life of an individual within 10 minutes if not provided with proper first aid and advanced life support. This is because as soon as the heart stops pumping blood, the cells who require the oxygen delivered by blood start to enter a state of non-function, which spells death for the individual.
What are the Symptoms?
Cardiac arrest can happen without any symptoms, but if symptoms show up, it can be mistaken for other, lighter problems. One of the most common symptoms is chest pain that persists. It may be a small dull pain but it can last for days. Sudden cardiac arrest can also be accompanied by general physical weakness. Shortness of breath is also one symptom, as it Other victims report experiencing a looming sense of dread before they feel suddenly under cardiac arrest. The time that symptoms appear can be as little as minutes or even days before sudden cardiac arrest occurs.
With the vague symptoms that may be ignored by some, it is understandable how sudden cardiac arrest can claim so many lives. If you experience these symptoms, think back to your lifestyle, if anything can cause weakened heart muscles. Those who have suffered a heart attack are at a higher risk for sudden cardiac arrest as the heart muscles have already been weakened.
How to Respond to SCA Victims?
When witnessing sudden cardiac arrest happening within proximity, there are certain procedures to follow to increase the chances of helping the victim. The most important thing is to call 9-1-1 immediately, as emergency services will be able to help calm down the responder if untrained. Calling emergency services can provide a responder with information on how to perform CPR and use an AED if one is available nearby.
Time is very important when responding. The brain will die within four minutes of sudden cardiac arrest due to the lack of oxygen supply that should be delivered by the blood. If there is a responder that can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, then the brain can be saved, as well as the patient. CPR does not always guarantee the survival of the person, and the same goes with using an automatic external defibrillator, but every action taken can potentially save the life of someone.