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An Overview of Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Part 2

April 2, 2013

In our previous post, we talked about the causes and risk factors of sudden cardiac arrest. Today, we will explain how the condition is diagnosed and treated.

Symptoms and Complications of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

defibrillator north ohio heart centerThe symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest usually appear without warning, and they can be drastic. These symptoms include sudden collapse, loss of consciousness, no breathing, and no pulse. However, sometimes, symptoms may show before the occurrence of a cardiac arrest, and these can come in the form of fainting, chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, blackout, breathing difficulty, vomiting, or palpitations. A sudden cardiac arrest can cause serious damage to your brain and result in death. It will usually lead to death if it lasts for more than 10 minutes.

Diagnosis of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

After you experience and survive a sudden cardiac arrest, your doctor will perform certain tests to find out the underlying problem. Some of the tests that are commonly used for diagnosing sudden cardiac arrest are electrocardiogram; blood tests such as cardiac enzyme test, electrolyte test, hormone test, and blood test; and imaging tests such as chest x-ray, echocardiogram, and ejection fraction test. Other options include electrical system testing and mapping, and angiogram.

Treatment of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest can kill within a short time, and therefore, it requires immediate medical attention. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or a defibrillator can be used to keep you alive until emergency assistance arrives. After you recover from the cardiac arrest, your doctor may recommend a number of treatment methods that can help you prevent future problems. Treatment for sudden cardiac arrest can come in the form of medication, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, coronary angioplasty, radiofrequency catheter ablation, coronary bypass surgery, corrective heart surgery, or heart transplantation.

Our cardiologists can provide valuable advice to help you manage and prevent sudden cardiac arrest. 

Photo Credit: Frederick Md Publicity