Sudden cardiac arrest is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness. Sudden cardiac arrest usually results from an electrical disturbance in your heart that disrupts its pumping action, stopping blood flow to the rest of your body.
Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to a portion of the heart is blocked.Sudden cardiac arrest symptoms are immediate and drastic. -Sudden collapse
-Loss of consciousness
Sometimes other signs and symptoms precede sudden cardiac arrest. These may include fatigue, fainting, blackouts, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, palpitations or vomiting. But sudden cardiac arrest often occurs with no warning. When to see a doctor
If you have frequent episodes of chest pain or discomfort, heart palpitations, irregular or rapid heartbeats, unexplained wheezing or shortness of breath, or fainting or near fainting or you’re feeling lightheaded or dizzy, see your doctor promptly. If these symptoms are ongoing, you should call 911 or emergency medical help. When the heart stops, the lack of oxygenated blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes. Death or permanent brain damage can occur within four to six minutes. Time is critical when you’re helping an unconscious person who isn’t breathing. Take immediate action.
Ventricular fibrillation is a heart rhythm problem that occurs when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. During ventricular fibrillation, your blood pressure plummets, cutting off blood supply to your vital organs. Ventricular fibrillation is frequently triggered by a heart attack.
Ventricular fibrillation is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. A person with ventricular fibrillation will collapse within seconds and soon won’t be breathing or have a pulse. Emergency treatment for ventricular fibrillation includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and shocks to the heart with a device called a defibrillator.
Treatments for those at risk of ventricular fibrillation include medications and implantable devices that can restore a normal heart rhythm. Loss of consciousness or fainting is the most common sign of ventricular fibrillation.
Early ventricular fibrillation symptoms
It’s possible that you may have other signs and symptoms that start about an hour before your heart goes into ventricular fibrillation and you faint. These include:
-Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
-Shortness of breath
If your coronary arteries narrow, they can’t supply enough oxygen-rich blood to your heart — especially when it’s beating hard, such as during exercise. At first, the decreased blood flow may not cause any coronary artery disease symptoms. As the plaques continue to build up in your coronary arteries, however, you may develop coronary artery disease signs and symptoms, including: -Chest pain (angina). You may feel pressure or tightness in your chest, as if someone were standing on your chest. The pain, referred to as angina, is usually triggered by physical or emotional stress. It typically goes away within minutes after stopping the stressful activity. In some people, especially women, this pain may be fleeting or sharp and felt in the abdomen, back or arm. -Shortness of breath. If your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs, you may develop shortness of breath or extreme fatigue with exertion. -Heart attack. A completely blocked coronary artery may cause a heart attack. The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include crushing pressure in your chest and pain in your shoulder or arm, sometimes with shortness of breath and sweating. Women are somewhat more likely than men are to experience less typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as nausea and back or jaw pain. Sometimes a heart attack occurs without any apparent signs or symptoms.
Stress tests pose little risk of serious harm. The chance of these tests causing a heart attack or death is about 1 in 5,000. More common, but less serious side effects linked to stress testing include: -An arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Often, an arrhythmia will go away quickly once you’re at rest. But if it persists, you may need monitoring or treatment in a hospital. -Low blood pressure, which can cause you to feel dizzy or faint. This problem may go away once your heart stops working hard; it usually doesn’t require treatment. -Jitteriness or discomfort while getting medicine to make your heart work hard and beat fast (you may be given medicine if you can’t exercise). These side effects usually go away shortly after you stop getting the medicine. Sometimes the symptoms may last a few hours.
Also, some of the medicines used for pharmacological stress tests can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, and other asthma-like symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms are severe and require treatment.
A silent heart attack is a heart attack that has few, if any, symptoms. You may have never had any symptoms to warn you that you’ve developed a heart problem, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Some people later recall their silent heart attack was mistaken for indigestion, nausea, muscle pain, or a bad case of the flu.
The risk factors for having a silent heart attack are the same as having a heart attack with symptoms. The risk factors include: -Smoking or chewing tobacco
-Family history of heart disease
-Lack of exercise
-Being overweight Having a silent heart attack puts you at a greater risk of having another heart attack, which could be fatal. Having another heart attack also increases your risk of complications, such as heart failure. If you wonder if you’ve had a silent heart attack, talk to your doctor. A review of your symptoms, health history and a physical exam can help your doctor decide if more tests are necessary. The only way to tell if you’ve had a silent heart attack is to have additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram or other imaging tests. These tests can reveal changes that signal you’ve had a heart attack.
One in every three adults in the United States suffers from a condition that may lead to coronary heart disease or stroke, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. High blood pressure, or hypertension, means the force of blood hitting against the walls of the arteries is high enough to cause damage. For an adult, the systolic BP should stay under 120. The bottom number, or diastolic, remains less than 80. Anything above those numbers is an indicator of potential risk. -The Silent Killer Hypertension is often referred to as “the silent killer” because it is often present with no obvious symptoms. When blood pressure rises, your symptoms may be negotiable. To monitor BP, medical professionals automatically take a reading with every visit. You should have your blood pressure taken at least once every two years. -Prehypertension
The early stage of the condition is when you are most likely to show some signs of a problem. The medical community defines prehypertension as a systolic rate of 120 – 139 and a diastolic in the range of 80 – 89. Possible symptoms include: -Mild, dull headache
When the blood pressure reaches the level that you are hypertensive, symptoms will disappear. A person is hypertensive when the systolic BP goes above 140 and the diastolic is over 90. Hypertension has two stages. Once the blood pressure exceeds 160/100, you are in stage 2. Neither stage produces symptoms. Video: Stroke
Hypertensive crisis means there is a sudden spike in the blood pressure taking it over 180/120. Symptoms of a hypertensive crisis include: -Chest pain
-Shortness of breath
The person having the crisis may become unresponsive over time. Hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency.
Do you often find yourself a victim of chest pain, shortness of breath, or headaches? Are you perhaps considered at high risk for a heart attack? Follow these tips to improve your blood circulation throughout your body and lower your risk of a heart attack. -Walk regularly. Going for walks after meals can help increase circulation and aid your digestive system in doing its job. Walking at least 30 minutes each day is recommended. -Eat healthy foods and avoid unhealthy foods. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (found in fish oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds). Stay away from overly processed foods, foods with excessive sugar or salt, and foods with unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats) -Drink right. Drink enough water during the day so that your organs don’t have to fight to produce energy and perform their daily functions. You don’t have to drink liters upon liters a day, but you should drink water when you’re thirsty. Try drinking some warm water, as cold water is known to close up your veins. Cut out the caffeine. If you can’t live without it, at least minimize your intake. For instance, if you usually have two cups of coffee in the morning, have one instead. Or if you buy your coffee from a cafe somewhere, try switching to decaf or taking your coffee down one size. Cut out alcohol and other sugary drinks from your diet. Sodas and overly sweet drinks do not improve your circulation, and have especially deleterious health effects. -Try taking a hot bath or doing other heat treatments. Draw up a nice warm bath (with or without Epsom salts, which are healing mineral salts) and relax for 20 to 30 minutes. Fill up hot water bottles, cover if necessary to avoid burns, and place on extremities to boost blood flow. -Find healthy outlets for your stress. Over time, stress can have negative effects on the body’s circulation. Find manageable, healthy ways to relieve stress, such as regular exercise, meditation techniques, and psychotherapy, among others. -Know if it’s bad. Be able to spot when your body is having trouble pumping its blood. Signs that your circulation is less than ideal include: Tingling in the feet and hands Cold extremities (fingers and toes) Bluish-tinted skin Slow healing times for wounds
Your arteries carry blood, oxygen and nutrients to the heart and to the rest of the body. A heart attack occurs when an artery of the heart (also known as a “coronary artery”) is suddenly closed or blocked by a blood clot.
Although the closure happens suddenly, it often results from plaque that has built up in the arteries over time. This process is called atherosclerosis. It is also known as hardening of the arteries. When the artery closes, the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart drops suddenly and sharply. This lack of oxygen causes damage to the heart. Signs and symptoms
Most of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack are the same for both men and women. Someone having a heart attack may feel: chest pain, which may also include feelings of: -tightness
spreading pain, which may spread out: -from the chest area
-down one or both arms
-to the neck, jaw or shoulders. shortness of breath
paleness, sweating or overall weakness
nausea, vomiting and maybe indigestion
anxiety or fear.
If you notice any of these symptoms: -Tell someone.
-Call 911 or your local emergency number to get help right away.
The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, sometimes making the type of sleep apnea more difficult to determine. The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include: -Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia) -Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea -Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
–Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea
–Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat -Morning headache -Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia) -Attention problems -When to see a doctor. Consult a medical professional if you experience, or if your partner notices, the following: -Snoring loud enough to disturb the sleep of others or yourself -Shortness of breath that awakens you from sleep -Intermittent pauses in your breathing during sleep -Excessive daytime drowsiness, which may cause you to fall asleep while you’re working, watching television or even driving.
Stress testing provides information about how your heart works during physical stress. Some heart problems are easier to diagnose when your heart is working hard and beating fast. Electrodes (conductive patches) will be placed on your chest to record the heart’s activity. The preparation of the electrode sites on your chest may produce a mild burning or stinging sensation.
The blood pressure cuff on your arm will be inflated every few minutes, producing a squeezing sensation that may feel tight. Baseline measurements of heart rate and blood pressure will be taken before exercise starts. You will start walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bicycle. The pace and incline of the treadmill (or the pedaling resistance) will slowly be increased.
Sometimes, people experience some of the following during the test: -Chest discomfort
-Shortness of breath