Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Symptoms
Sudden cardiac arrest, also referred to as sudden cardiac death, is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness. It's a medical emergency that, if not treated immediately, is fatal. However, with fast, appropriate medical care, survival is possible.
Many people think that sudden cardiac arrest is the same as a heart attack, but that is not accurate. Sudden cardiac arrest usually results from a severely abnormal heart rhythm that interferes with the pumping action of your heart and causes the immediate cessation of blood flow from the heart to the rest of your body. However, a heart attack occurs when a sudden blockage in the coronary artery prevents blood flow to part of your heart muscle, causing dysfunction in the affected part and possible tissue death.
Sudden cardiac arrest almost always occurs in the context of other underlying heart problems, particularly coronary artery disease. A heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest by triggering an unstable heart rhythm. In many cases, sudden cardiac arrest may be the first indication of heart problems.
Survival of sudden cardiac arrest depends on prompt emergency care. This generally involves administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), shock treatment to your chest to reset your heart's rhythm (defibrillation) and advanced life support. Restoring circulation as fast as possible improves your chances of survival.
California Pacific's Heart and Vascular Center
California Pacific's Heart and Vascular Center is supported by one of the best heart hospital/center networks in the USA, offering quality, comprehensive patient-centered cardiovascular care by a team of top heart surgeons and physicians with leading-edge technology. Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco and Marin County, as well as the entire Northern California region, our team has many of the best cardiovascular surgeons and physicians in California and the United States.