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Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate action. Despite its potential severity, studies show that many people are not confident in their ability to respond in this situation. In this blog, we will discuss various signs of cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest occurs because of an electrical issue that makes your heart stop beating. When your heart stops pumping blood, you become unconscious. Cardiac arrest can be deadly in minutes. This is why those watching should call for help and start CPR immediately. A person’s chances of survival are highest when they get help immediately.

What Is A Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest occurs when your heart stops beating or beats so quickly that it no longer pumps blood. During cardiac arrest, people usually collapse and become unconscious. Symptoms appear without warning. This is why it's also known as sudden cardiac arrest.
This life-threatening illness can be fatal if it is not treated immediately.
During cardiac arrest (cardiopulmonary arrest), your heart stops pumping blood. Within minutes, your organs and entire body are at risk of death because they require constant oxygen. Your blood transports oxygen.
CPR and defibrillation are used as emergency treatments. CPR keeps adequate oxygen in your lungs and delivers it to your brain until an electric shock restarts a normal heartbeat. CPR and defibrillators might save your life.

Heart Conditions That Can Lead To Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The most prevalent cause of sudden cardiac arrest is an abnormal heart rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation. Rapid, irregular cardiac signals lead the lower heart chambers to tremble ineffectively rather than pumping blood. Certain heart diseases increase your chances of developing this type of heartbeat trouble.

However, sudden cardiac arrest can occur in people who have no known heart disease.
The following heart disorders can lead to sudden cardiac arrest:

  • Coronary Artery Disease. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen when the heart arteries become blocked with cholesterol and other deposits, decreasing blood flow to the heart.
  • Heart Attack. A heart attack, which is generally the outcome of severe coronary artery disease, can cause ventricular fibrillation and abrupt cardiac arrest.
  • Additionally, a heart attack can leave scar tissue in the heart. Scar tissue can alter the heartbeat.
  • Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged. This problem usually develops when the walls of the heart muscle stretch. The heart muscle becomes larger or thicker.
  • Heart valve disease. Leaking or constriction of the heart valves can cause stretching or thickening of the heart muscle. When the chambers enlarge or weaken as a result of stress from a tight or leaking valve, there is an increased chance of developing a cardiac rhythm disorder.
  • Heart defects present at birthCongenital heart defects are heart problems that occur at birth. Sudden cardiac arrest in infants and teenagers is frequently caused by a congenital heart condition. Adults who have undergone corrective surgery for a congenital heart abnormality are more likely to experience sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Long QT syndrome (LQTS) and other cardiac signaling issues. Long QT syndrome and Brugada syndrome create a disorganized heartbeat. If the heart rhythm is not rapidly restored, abrupt death may result. Young people with LQTS are more prone to unexpected death.

Risk Factors

The same factors that elevate the risk of heart disease also increase the chance of sudden cardiac arrest. This includes:

Other factors that may raise the risk of sudden cardiac arrest include:

  • A previous occurrence of sudden cardiac arrest or a family history of the condition.
  • A previous heart attack.
  • A personal or family history of other types of heart illness, such as heart rhythm disorders, heart failure, or heart defects at birth.

As you get older, your chance of sudden cardiac arrest increases.
Being Male.

  • Using illegal substances like cocaine or amphetamines.
  • Low potassium and magnesium levels.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder.
  • Chronic kidney disease.

What Are The Symptoms?

A person is most likely suffering a cardiac arrest if:

  • Collapse suddenly and lose consciousness.
  • Are not breathing, their breathing is inefficient, or they are gasping for air.
  • Do not respond to shouting and shaking.
  • Do not have a pulse.

Cardiac arrest symptoms could include:

  • Fainting (loss of consciousness).
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Dizziness.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Weakness.

A sudden cardiac arrest occurs without any prior symptoms.

What Happens Just Before Cardiac Arrest?

Other symptoms of cardiac arrest may precede fainting, such as 

  • Chest pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sudden collapse.
  • No pulse.
  • There's no breathing.
  • Loss of consciousness.

Other symptoms may arise before a sudden cardiac arrest. These may include: 

  • Chest discomfort.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Weakness.
  • Palpitations are characterized by a rapid, fluttering, or pounding heartbeat. 

Symptoms Differ Between Men And Women

Women, like men, experience the most frequent heart attack symptom of chest pain (angina) or discomfort. However, women may develop symptoms that are less commonly linked with a heart attack, such as shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw discomfort.

Do not hesitate to contact the emergency helpline number.Learn the symptoms of a heart attack and, even if you're not sure, have it checked out.Minutes matter. Fast action can save lives, including your own.If you are experiencing heart attack warning signals, call the emergency helpline number. It is nearly always the quickest way to receive life-saving care.

How Is A Cardiac Arrest Treated?

Primary Survey 

When someone experiences symptoms of cardiac arrest, it is critical to check the situation using a primary survey. It involves checking for injuries or conditions that can be immediately life-threatening. If an adult is not responsive to a call or shout and is not breathing normally, you need to call the emergency helpline number and start CPR immediately.

CPR and Defibrillation 

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a lifesaving technique that can help maintain blood circulation and oxygenation until emergency medical services arrive. It is crucial to start CPR immediately after calling for help. If a defibrillator is available, use it while continuing CPR. Follow the defibrillator's voice guidance and do not perform rescue breaths.


Keeping the heart healthy may help prevent sudden cardiac arrest. You can do this by:

  • Eating healthy.
  • Getting regular checkups.
  • Not smoking or using tobacco.
  • Being screened for heart disease.
  • Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Genetic tests can be done to see if you have long QT syndrome, a common cause of sudden cardiac death. If you have the long QT gene, your healthcare provider may recommend that other family members also be tested.

If you have a known risk of cardiac arrest, your healthcare provider might recommend a heart device called an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). The device is placed under your collarbone.


Knowing the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest is important, but it's only one part of the puzzle. Prioritizing a healthy lifestyle, managing risk factors, and getting regular medical examinations can significantly minimize the likelihood of having a cardiac attack in the first place. Remember, early detection is critical. If you notice any potential warning signals, get immediate medical attention. Your quick thinking and actions may save your life. Remember, every second counts when someone experiences cardiac arrest.

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