What Happens During Sudden Cardiac Arrest

What Happens During Sudden Cardiac Arrest

December 15, 2021



According to The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, cardiac arrest is an electrical problem with the heart. But, what exactly happens during sudden cardiac arrest?
 
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and oftentimes without warning. According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is triggered by an electrical function in the heart that causes an arrhythmia. When this happens, the heart can no longer pump blood to the brain, lungs, and other organs.  Immediate treatment is crucial for survival.
 
Here are some signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest:
• Suddenly passing out or collapsing
• Unresponsiveness
• Agonal breathing which sounds like a snort, a snore, a groan, or gasping
• 10-20 seconds of seizing
 
So, what do you do if you witness someone go into sudden cardiac arrest? How do you help them? If you suspect someone is suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, take the following steps:
• Call 9-1-1
• Immediately start performing CPR (100-120 chest compressions per minute)
• Use an AED as soon as possible.
 
It is very important to act immediately if someone is suffering sudden cardiac arrest. Every second that goes by without treatment hurts the person’s chances of survival.
 
Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack. According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, a heart attack is a plumbing problem. Someone suffering a heart attack can be responsive and their heart can still be beating.
 
Here are some signs and symptoms of a heart attack:
• Chest discomfort that feels like pressure or squeezing
• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms
• Pain or discomfort in the shoulder or upper back
• Pain or discomfort in the neck or jaw
• Shortness of breath
• Nausea
• Sweating, especially breaking out into a cold sweat
• Lightheadedness
 
Here are some additional signs and symptoms of heart attacks in women:
• Stomach or abdominal pain
• Weakness
• Fatigue
• Swelling of the ankles of lower legs
 
So, what do you do if you witness someone experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack? How do you help them? If you suspect someone is having a heart attack take the following steps:
• Call 9-1-1
• Encourage the person to rest or lie down while waiting for EMS
• Monitor the person and make sure they are responsive and breathing
• Do not drive the person to the hospital! Let EMS arrive and take them in the ambulance.
 
Heart attacks can get very bad, very quickly. If the person does go unresponsive and stops breathing, start CPR immediately and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) as soon as possible.
 
To learn more about Defibtech and to join us on our quest to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, visit www.Defibtech.com.
 
Sources:
https://www.sca-aware.org/about-sudden-cardiac-arrest/sca-or-heart-attack#:~:text=Sudden%20Cardiac%20Arrest%20(SCA)%20is,the%20heart%20from%20functioning%20effectively.
 
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/about-heart-attacks/heart-attack-or-sudden-cardiac-arrest-how-are-they-different