Sudden Cardiac Arrest is when the heart stops beating suddenly due to an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). It is a medical emergency and requires someone to start performing CPR and to call 911.
I Have Risk Factors for Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and unexpectedly and often there are no warning signs.
A person who has a sudden cardiac arrest will have:
- A sudden collapse.
- Be unresponsive to touch or sound.
- Be not breathing or making gasping sounds (called agonal breathing).
When a person has a sudden cardiac arrest, his or her heart has stopped beating and no oxygen is getting to the brain. It is very important to call 9-1-1 immediately and to start CPR. Here’s a link on what to do in this emergency situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI6FweqA_7U
The risk factors for sudden cardiac arrest include:
- A prior heart attack or heart disease.
- High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia).
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- Cigarette smoking.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Being overweight.
- Having high blood sugar (diabetes).
- A family history of heart disease at a young age.
Just because you have some of these risk factors doesn’t mean you will have a sudden cardiac arrest. It just means that you are more likely to have one compared to someone who doesn’t have these risk factors.
Having a healthy lifestyle is important to decreasing your risk. Talk to your doctor about changing your lifestyle to quit smoking, eat healthy, exercise and take medications if needed.