Cardiac Arrest

Valarie Phong and Erin Ramsay


Sudden loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have a history of heart disease that leads to death

-NOT the same as a heart attack, heart attacks may lead to heart disease but they are not the same thing.

-Heart attacks are caused by blockage that stops blood flow into the heart.

-Cardiac Arrest is caused by malfunctions in the heart's electrical system.

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  • sudden collapse
  • no pulse
  • no breathing
  • loss of consciousness

(can also include fatigue, fainting, blackouts, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, palpitations or vomiting)


No specific diagnosis

-Cardiac arrests are very sudden with no warnings and require immediate emergency treatment.

-Most cardiac arrests are diagnosed after it occurs by doctors ruling out causes of the sudden collapse.

-Imaging tests


-Echocardiogram (uses sound waves to produce an image of your heart)

Nuclear scan


-Cardiac arrests' most common and immediate treatment includes using defibrillator to send an electric shock to the heart which may restore a normal rhythm to a stopped heart.

-Needs to be performed within minutes of the occurrence because the chances of surviving drop rapidly with every minute that passes

Other treatments include:

-Medications to stabilize heart rhythm

-Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator (battery powered unit that is put under your left -collarbone to monitor the heart rhythm)

-Coronary Bypass Surgery (improves blood flow to the heart)

-Radiofrequency catheter ablation (machine used to send energy to the heart)

-Corrective heart surgery

-Coronary angioplasty (procedure used to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries)

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-Most cardiac arrest survivors have some degree of brain damage and impaired consciousness.

-If not treated immediately, death will result.

  • Cardiac Arrest chances increase:

-the older a person gets

-Men more likely than women

-African Americans have a higher risk

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