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Sudden Cardiac Arrest

What Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical condition which causes abrupt loss of heart function. The condition is usually a result of an electric malfunction in the heart that triggers an irregular heartbeat. This disrupts the blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body. As a result, the individual loses consciousness within minutes and has no pulse. The patient can even die if the treatment is not received immediately.

Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack as the former is an electrical issue whereas the latter is caused due to congestion in the coronary arteries in the heart. Since both are dangerous, it is important to consult the doctor and determine heart health to reduce the risk of complications.


What Are the Symptoms Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Most cardiac arrest symptoms are immediate and drastic where the patient can feel a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heartbeat. The symptoms can last for a few minutes to even hours before the patient is taken to the hospital. Cardiac arrest symptoms can mimic health issues like gas, heartburn, etc. Therefore, it is only after a comprehensive diagnosis, the doctor can assess the heart condition. Sudden cardiac arrest symptoms include the following - 

  • Chest Pain (Angina)
  • Fatigue or Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden collapse
  • Heart palpitations or arrhythmic heartbeat 

What Are The Causes Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Doctors associate sudden cardiac arrest causes with electrical malfunctions in the heart that causes irregular heartbeat. Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) can cause the heart to beat too slowly or too fast which can eventually cause heart failure. 

Most cardiac arrests are a result of arrhythmias in the lower chamber (ventricle) of the heart. In addition, prolonging certain medical conditions can also increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest causes include the following - 

  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Enlarged Heart (Cardiomyopathy)
  • Valvular Heart Disease
  • Congenital heart disorder
  • Electrical issues in the heart
  • Heart Attack

Apart from that, there are certain risk factors which can impact heart health and eventually increase the risk of several cardiac disorders. Risk Factors for Cardiac Arrest Include - 

  • Age
  • Being male
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • High blood pressure & cholesterol levels
  • Using illegal drugs (such as cocaine or amphetamines)

When Should I Consult The Doctor for Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest can occur suddenly. Therefore it is important to get immediate medical care to ensure high chances of survival. Call for medical help or seek emergency assistance in case you or anyone around you gets suddenly unconscious due to shortness of breath. 

Moreover, heart palpitations, chest discomfort, rapid or irregular heartbeats, unexplained wheezing, etc. are early warning signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest which require immediate attention. Get in touch with our leading cardiologists for comprehensive diagnosis and emergency treatment for complete cardiac care. BM Birla also provides 24X7 Ambulance services and cardiac care unit to ensure high success rate. 

How Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Diagnosed?

Most sudden cardiac arrests are immediate and usually diagnosed after the patient is brought to the ER. However, regular health checkups can detect any abnormal function in the heart which can lead to other cardiovascular disorders. For mild to moderate symptoms, the doctor may perform physical tests and recommend several tests for accurate diagnosis. Sudden cardiac diagnosis includes the following tests to determine heart health and assess the risk of cardiovascular diseases - 

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Blood Tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Nuclear scan
  • Coronary Catheterization

What Are The Different Treatment Methods For Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Most patients with cardiac arrest usually require emergency treatment. However, sudden cardiac arrest treatment also depends on the severity of the condition, the medical health of the patient and the type of surgery. Initially, CPR is crucial to maintain the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the different parts of the body. You can either perform CPR on the patient or call for an ambulance for immediate treatment. 

In case there is an existing medical condition which can increase the risk of a sudden cardiac arrest or a heart attack, the doctor recommends surgical and non-surgical treatment options to improve the health of the heart. Sudden cardiac arrest treatment includes the following options - 

Medications - Doctors prescribe medications to treat arrhythmias and improve the blood flow to the heart. While medications are effective for mild to moderate symptoms, they may not provide relief for long term health issues. Therefore, in that case, surgical intervention is the only choice depending on the patient’s medical condition and preference. Medications for sudden cardiac arrest treatment include - 

  • Calcium Channel Blocker
  • Clot busters medicines
  • Blood thinners
  • Beta-blockers
  • ACE inhibitors

Surgical Intervention - In case a patient experiences frequent cardiac arrest, the doctor may also recommend surgical intervention to either treat the condition or place an implant. Surgical procedures for sudden cardiac arrest include the following - 

  • Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
  • Coronary Angioplasty
  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation
  • Corrective Heart Surgery

Why Choose BM Birla for Sudden Cardiac Arrest Treatment in Kolkata?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is a super speciality hospital with modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology in Kolkata. BM Birla Heart Research Centre is the only hospital offering super speciality cardiac care in entire eastern India. With a 200+ bed capacity, cardiac rehabilitation services, cath labs and modular OTs, BM Birla Heart Research Centre has made a mark with its singular focus on the treatment of a variety of cardiac ailments. Here are a few advantages of choosing BM Birla Heart Research Centre for sudden cardiac arrest treatment in Kolkata:

  • Highly qualified and experienced cardiologists
  • Cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Transparent pricing structure for cost-effective treatment. 
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate

Get in touch with our expert heart specialists at BM Birla Heart Research Centre, Kolkata for complete cardiac care. 

How Can I Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Most cardiac arrest symptoms are sudden and cannot be prevented. Also, for people with congenital heart conditions, preventive tips may help manage the symptoms and keep the condition from getting worse. Reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest by living a heart-healthy lifestyle or getting regular health checkups for any other health issue which can impact heart health. Talk to your cardiologist to know about your heart health and how you can avoid sudden cardiac arrest. 


Whom should I consult for my sudden cardiac arrest treatment?

If you or anyone around you is showing signs of sudden cardiac arrest, consult a cardiologist near you. A cardiologist specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the heart and ensures proper working of the cardiovascular system. 

What are the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest in females?

Symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest in females include - 

  • Discomfort around arms, back, neck, jaw, and stomach
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea and cold sweats
  • Chest pain, pressure, or discomfort

How to recover after a sudden cardiac arrest?

Your health will be monitored in the intensive care unit after the treatment. The doctor may put you in an induced coma and keep you asleep to allow your body to recover. In addition, you may be referred to cardiac rehabilitation to help regain your fitness and strength levels. 

Is sudden cardiac arrest more common in men than women?

Yes, being a man makes you more vulnerable to sudden cardiac arrest. However, the risk of a sudden cardiac arrest depends on the individual's medical health, lifestyle, diet, and health of the heart. 

What are the complications of prolonged sudden cardiac arrest?

While some cases of sudden cardiac arrest may be mild, frequent episodes can reduce the blood flow to the brain. Moreover, abnormal heart rhythms can increase the risk of brain damage and even result in death.

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