Get CPR training for your team!
If you have any questions feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT ONE OF OUR EXPERTS HERE
Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by CPR Training
If someone has a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest, there may only be a few minutes to act before it’s too late. Immediate recognition and treatment of a heart emergency can dramatically improve victims’ chances of survival and recovery. “Heart attack” is often used interchangeably with sudden cardiac arrest, but they differ. While a heart attack can cause sudden cardiac arrest, they are different events.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart ceases to pump blood throughout the body. A victim of sudden cardiac arrest loses consciousness almost immediately, with no signs of life, such as movement or breathing.
The heart operates as an electrical pump, with pacemaker cells in the upper chamber generating electricity. In the case of sudden cardiac arrest, electrical impulses to the heart become rapid and irregular. This can lead to the cessation of the heart’s beating and blood-pumping functions. As a result, the heart cannot deliver blood to the brain, lungs, and other organs. Just seconds later, the person becomes unconscious and stops breathing. Without immediate treatment, death can occur within minutes.
Sudden cardiac arrest often strikes without warning. Over half of all sudden cardiac arrest cases present without prior symptoms. However, some people may experience warning signs such as dizziness or a racing heartbeat. Interestingly, many victims of sudden cardiac arrest appear healthy and exhibit no known risk factors.
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a portion of the heart is blocked, preventing that part of the heart from receiving blood. It’s crucial to swiftly reopen the blocked coronary artery to avoid the death of that heart section. The longer a person goes without receiving treatment for a heart attack, the more severe the damage becomes.
The symptoms of a heart attack can be intense and immediate, but they often appear gradually. Symptoms can occur for hours, days, or even months before a heart attack occurs. Typically, the heart doesn’t stop beating during a heart attack. Common symptoms include:
Not everyone who has a heart attack experiences the same symptoms. However, the more heart attack symptoms you have, the more likely you’re experiencing a heart attack. The earliest warning sign of a heart attack is often chest pain that occurs during exertion and is relieved by rest. Heart attack risk factors include age, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of physical activity, a family history of heart attacks, and stress.
While most heart attacks do not lead directly to sudden cardiac arrest, they increase the risk of it happening. Sudden cardiac arrest can occur shortly after a heart attack or during recovery. Other cardiac conditions, such as heart failure, arrhythmias, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a thickened heart muscle), could lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
In the event that an individual appears to be experiencing a heart attack and has lost consciousness, check if they are breathing by observing the rise and fall of their chest. If they breathing, position them in the recovery position and immediately dial 911 for EMS services. If the person is unresponsive and not showing signs of breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) without delay. Also, get an automated external defibrillator (AED) if available, and call for help.
Effective bystander CPR, performed immediately after someone’s heart has stopped beating, can double or triple the victim’s chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association. If CPR isn’t performed right away, the victim could suffer permanent damage to the brain and other vital organs. Continue performing CPR until emergency medical services can take over, and use the AED as soon as it arrives. An AED delivers an electrical shock that may restore a normal heart rhythm.
The CDC reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the US, claiming approximately 647,000 lives yearly. Inaction during a sudden cardiac emergency often leads to unnecessary deaths, with less than 8% of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital surviving.
The life you could save with CPR is most likely that of a loved one since most sudden cardiac arrests occur at home. If you would like to learn how to perform CPR or use an AED, you can contact EMC CPR & Safety Training. We offer nationwide CPR, AED, and First Aid training, serving areas including New York City, Chicago, Indianapolis, San Antonio, and Atlanta. Call 1-800-695-5655 or contact us online for more information.
All the information on this website (www.emccprtraining.com) is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. EMC CPR & Safety Training, LLC does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (EMC CPR & Safety Training, LLC) is strictly at your own risk. EMC CPR & Safety Training, LLC will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with using our website.
You can visit other websites from our website by following hyperlinks to such external sites. While we strive to provide only quality links to useful and ethical websites, we have no control over the content and nature of these sites. These links to other websites do not imply a recommendation for all the content found on these sites. Site owners and content may change without notice and occur before we can remove a link that may have gone ‘bad.’
Please also be aware that other sites may have different privacy policies and terms beyond our control when you leave our website. Please check the privacy policies of these sites and their “Terms of Service” before engaging in any business or uploading any information.
Using our website, you consent to our disclaimer and agree to its terms.