Symptoms of cardiac arrest

Posted on January 4, 2016 12:36 am

According to a new study conducted in Portland, Oregon and published in Annals of Internal Medicine, sudden cardiac arrest may not be an entirely unexpected after researchers examined records for nearly 1,100 people ages 35 to 65 who suffered a cardiac arrest between 2002 and 2012. A quarter of patients, researchers didn’t find information about whether they experienced symptoms making it impossible to say find out how common warning signs are.Out of the remaining 839 patients, half had evidence of at least one symptom in the previous month.Chest pain was most common in men, while women were more likely to experience shortness of breath. However, the researchers had no way to determine symptom severity. Only 19 percent of patients called sought help about symptoms, mostly people with already diagnosed heart disease or who were having recurrent symptoms. Their survival was 32 percent, compared with 6 percent for other patients. That is because a fifth of those who sought help had their cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.People who experience a cardiac arrest may be receiving symptoms up to four weeks before the life threatening event happens but those symptoms are often ignored.

Experts define cardiac arrest as the event that occurs when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating while a heart attack, is the result of when blood flow to the heart is blocked.It has been well documented by scientists that there are different warning signs prior to when a person has a heart attack, although symptoms differ between men and women.The authors suggest that these findings highlight the potential importance of developing local community based strategies for short term prevention of sudden cardiac arrest.Attention to symptoms and early interventions may improve survival.Also, the study disputes previous research that found there were no obvious symptoms in the lead up to cardiac arrest. The most common symptoms are chest pains and laboured breathing, with most experiencing symptoms 24 hours beforehand.Sudden cardiac arrest is almost always fatal, so finding ways to prevent it is important.Research findings classified the symptoms as palpitations, difficulty breathing, chest pain both typical and atypical, sudden drop in blood pressure or loss of consciousness,abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and back pain.Researchers collected information about the 4 weeks before sudden cardiac arrest from survivors, family members, friends, medical records, and emergency response records to determine what symptoms, if any, were present.

Multiple studies have shown that in 90 percent of cases, patients realise they need medical care too late.The main reason for asking help so late is that patients, although observe the symptoms, don’t take them seriously enough to link them with cardiac arrest.In previous studies,coronary heart disease,heart attacks and specific inherited disorders that affect heartbeat have showed that they can increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.Reading the new cardiac arrest symptoms findings over the weekend, I realised many of the symptoms were identical to those of heart attack and feels its important for us out there to be aware of the warning signs of cardiac arrest and heart attack and anyone who experiences symptoms should seek medical help immediately.Six years ago, I lost a family friend from Brisbane in what post mortem result revealed was cardiac arrest and thats one of the reason why this study caught my attention.No doubt recognising the symptoms of a disease will help make a quicker reaction, prevent the disease from happening or begin treatment immediately which will help improve chances of getting better. It’s a reminder to us not to ignore possible signs of heart trouble in hopes they’re just indigestion. For more about the study visit this page.

Contador Harrison