Cardiac arrest that has occurred in over half of the middle-aged men who experienced it had early warning signs which appeared up to a month before the event, a new study had shown.
Most of these signs included chest pain, dizziness, faintness, shortness of breath, and/or heart palpitations, happened between four weeks up to just an hour before their hearts abruptly stopped, according to research that was presented Tuesday to the American Heart Association.
Cardiac arrest takes place when the heart stops due to an electrical system failure, the heart association stated. Patients will on occasion stay alive if they are able to receive immediate CPR and also have a defibrillator used on them very quickly where their hearts are able to be shocked back into ordinary rhythms.
The terms heart attack and cardiac arrest are often mistakenly exchanged in usage and they should not be. A heart attack could lead to cardiac arrest and sudden death but it does not automatically mean the same thing. Heart attacks are triggered by a blockage that stops blood flow going to the heart muscle.
There are around 360,000 cardiac arrests which happen outside of the hospital setting every year in the United States.
A cardiac arrest is the heart’s ultimate problem, stated Sumeet Chugh, who is the arrest study author. Chugh is also an associate director for cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, CA. Cardiac arrest’s problem is electrical chaos. A person will die within 10 minutes of an arrest unless he or she is lucky enough to receive emergency aid quickly. The sad truth is that 90% of people who end up having sudden cardiac arrest will end up dying.
Chugh and his associates examined information on symptoms and health pasts almost 570 men in Portland, OR, who ranged in age from 35 to 65 and had suffered cardiac arrest out of the hospitals from the years 2002 to 2012. The medical histories were collected from both emergency medical and also health records. Chugh founded the study and it has lasted for nearly 12 years now.
He discovered that over 50 percent had symptoms prior to suffering cardiac arrest. Out of the 50 percent, 56 percent of that group experienced chest pain; 13 percent had shortness of breath; 4 percent went through dizziness, heart palpitations or fainting. About 80 percent of the symptoms transpired between four weeks and one hour before the sudden cardiac arrest occurred. Many of the men had coronary artery disease, but only one quarter of them had been diagnosed by a physician.
Dr. Gina Lundberg, who is a cardiologist and also a professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA, agrees. She stated that people need to pay close attention to any new symptoms that are unusual for them. Many individuals just ignore the more subtle indicators such as dizziness or mild chest discomfort. They do not see those as being serious but paying attention to these early warning signs of cardiac arrest could save lives.
By Kimberly Ruble