When Fear Strikes
Technology might be able to offer us a number of conveniences but, at the end of the day, it also has its own limitation. For one, there are still a number of health conditions that continuously claim the lives of people each year. One of these is known as the Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or SCA, is considered to be one of the top reasons for high mortality rate in the US alone. Unfortunately, while it might be a holder of this infamous title, there are very few people who actually understand how SCA takes place.
Although most people use heart attack and cardiac arrest interchangeably, the two are not the same. Simply put, in a heart attack situation, there is something that blocks the blood from flowing through the blood vessels. On the other hand, in a cardiac arrest, something causes the heart to stop beating. In the case of the latter, the culprits largely include blunt force trauma to the chest, diabetes, and certain heart conditions like arrhythmia. The former, however, is a result of unhealthy lifestyle that causes a buildup of cholesterol deposits along the blood vessels.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest tends to be have higher risks of happening with people who have scarring in their heart tissue due to a prior heart attack. At risk are also individuals who have cardiomyopathy whether it occurred due to hypertension or valvular heart disease. Those who have problems with their blood vessels as well as those who are considered as recreational drug users are also prone to suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. There are also certain heart medications that can actually give rise to Sudden Cardiac Arrest even when taken in regulation. That being the case, it is always best to check with your doctor if you have other options especially if you are already considered at risk for SCA.
A person suffering from a cardiac arrest typically loses consciousness without any notice. Tapping the shoulders of the person would elicit no response although you can still feel signs of weak breathing and weak pulse. In cases like these, a responder would need to act fast as time is of the essence. Why is this so? For every minute that oxygen-rich blood is unable to circulate and reach major organs, they become more and more likely to suffer from tissue necrosis. When the latter happens, it could lead to the person’s death.
What most medical professionals recommend when it comes to dealing with SCA is to, at least, provide chest compressions to the unconscious victim. This allows the blood to somehow circulate, and, this, should be continued until paramedics arrive or until the patient is revived. You have to keep in mind, however, that each compression should be at least an inch deep and should be repeated about 100 times per minute.
Now, giving chest compressions might be especially foreign for those who have not had any experience with CPR. Fortunately, one can always make use of an AED device in order to attend to an unconscious patient. With an AED, the responder would no longer have to worry what to do next as the device would already prompt him or her about what the next step would be.