The Warning Signs of a Cardiac Arrest and the Right Time to Use an AED

A deadly condition in which the heart unexpectedly stops working, cardiac arrest causes more than 300,000 deaths in the United States each year. Recent studies show that by reading its warning signs early on, you can prevent cardiac arrest from occurring. According to recent research, cardiac arrest may not be as sudden as earlier thought. The research reveals that, in the month preceding their attack, more than half of the people that suffer from cardiac arrest experience revelatory warning signs that their heart is in danger.

The research revealed that, of the 839 cardiac arrest patients analyzed, 51%, or 430 people, exhibited warning signs in the month preceding the attack. The research concluded that although they frequently occur prior to a sudden cardiac arrest, warning signs of an SCA are generally ignored. The research found the following two symptoms as the most common warning signs of a cardiac arrest.

Intermittent Chest Pain (Angina)

A pain that comes from the heart, angina feels like squeezing or pressure in your chest. Also known as intermittent chest pain, angina is a major warning sign of a cardiac arrest. Caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries, angina occurs when enough blood doesn’t flow to part of your heart. Basically, when the arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood to your heart suffer from a decrease in blood flow, angina or intermittent chest pain occurs. Although it goes away quickly, angina may be an indication a life threatening heart problem such as a cardiac arrest so if you experience discomfort, ache, or tightness in your chest that lasts for 1 or 2 minutes, get yourself checked from your doctor as soon as possible.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is a symptom of a cardiac arrest that usually occurs in women. However, regardless of your gender, you should monitor your breathing and look for any changes. For instance, an increase in shortness of breath while you’re lying flat is an indication of a heart problem which may lead to a cardiac arrest. Being able to breathe easier after using more pillows to elevate your upper body is a major sign that the shortness of breath in you is indeed heart related. You should visit your doctor if your tolerance for activity becomes less and you experience persistent and severe shortness of breath.

The Right Time to Use Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

When you experience the aforementioned cardiac arrest warning signs, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. However, the cardiac problem in some people may have progressed to that stage. For such people, using an AED may become necessary at any time. The usage of AED becomes necessary if you or another person in your home stops responding or starts gasping for air. AED is a life saving device which you can use to keep a person alive till medical help arrives.

 

Sources:

http://annals.org/aim/article/2478157/warning-symptoms-associated-survival-from-sudden-cardiac-arrest

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacArrest/Warning-Signs-and-Emergency-Treatment-of-Cardiac-Arrest_UCM_307911_Article.jsp#.WHds3tJ97ct

http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/heart-health/cardiac-arrest-symptoms/