Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Description

What is sudden cardiac arrest?
During a sudden cardiac arrest, the heart is no longer able to pump blood to the rest of the body, and in over 90% of victims, death occurs– abruptly and without warning.

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Causes and Risk Factors

What are the causes and risk factors of sudden cardiac arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest is usually caused by a problem with the electrical system of the heart, which may be the result of coronary artery disease, a heart attack or other heart problems.

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Symptoms

What are the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest?
Usually SCA strikes suddenly and without warning, leaving the patient unconscious.

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Diagnosis

How is sudden cardiac arrest diagnosed?
Sudden cardiac arrest is diagnosed after the event, and may appear as ventricular fibrillation on an electrocardiogram (ECG). 

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Treatment

How is sudden cardiac arrest treated?
Once a cardiac arrest occurs, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation are required within the first several minutes to restore electrical activity to the heart and revive the heart's pumping function.

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