Common Questions about Sudden Cardiac Arrest - In a Heartbeat

Common Questions about Sudden Cardiac Arrest

  1. Is there a link between Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Heart attacks and Sudden Cardiac Arrest are two separate and distinct heart conditions.  A heart attack is caused by a blocked artery that prevents blood from reaching a portion of the heart.  Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is caused by an electrical malfunction within the heart that causes the heart to cease pumping blood altogether.  Despite the fact that these two conditions are different, it is believed that there are links between the two.  According to the American Heart Association, suffering from a heart attack can raise the risk of a SCA.  It is also possible for SCA to occur after a heart attack or during recovery from a heart attack.

  1. Can blood pressure indicate Sudden Cardiac Arrest risk?

As SCA is often linked with coronary heart disease, the risk factors for both are the same.  This includes high blood pressure, or hypertension.  High blood pressure can cause damage to the heart muscle, known as cardiomyopathy, and can make you more prone to suffering a SCA event.

  1. If I have survived a Sudden Cardiac Arrest event, am I at risk for another?

Patients who have survived one cardiac arrest event are typically at risk for another occurrence.  While the medical community has not yet identified definitive methods to prevent SCA, adopting a diet low in saturated and trans fats, exercising (with a doctor’s permission), maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress levels and avoiding smoking may help prevent another occurrence.  If you are at high risk for another SCA event, doctors may implant a defibrillator, which has been shown to increase the odds of survival.

4.  What are the chances of survival from Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

The American Heart Association reports that there are 350,000 incidences of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the U.S, each year.  Unfortunately, 90% of those are fatal.  However, with bystander intervention, the chance of survival increases to approximately 45%.  The statistics showing the benefit of bystander CPR are encouraging, and yet, only 46% of out-of-hospital SCA victims receive necessary and immediate help required while they wait for emergency personnel arrive.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.  If you are not CPR certified or if your skills need a refresher, contact us to schedule your class right away!

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