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Sudden Cardiac Arrest

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a serious and life-threatening medical emergency. Sudden cardiac arrest happens when the heart suddenly stops beating, and may happen without any warning. Someone may seem fine one minute and collapse the next. Without immediate treatment with defibrillation (an electric shock to the heart), a person can die in minutes.

Common Risk Factors of SCA

Common risk factors include:

· A family history of coronary heart disease

· High blood pressure

· High cholesterol

· Obesity

· Diabetes

· Sedentary lifestyle

· Smoking

· Excessive alcohol intake

· Age

Symptoms of SCA

The first and often only symptom of SCA is loss of consciousness (fainting) due to reduced blood flow to the brain. At the same time, no heartbeat or pulse can be felt.

Some of these symptoms may come before SCA:

· Fatigue or weakness

· Shortness of breath

· Fainting

· Dizziness or lightheadedness

· Heart palpitations

· Chest pain

However, there are often no warning signs before SCA occurs.

What you can do?
  1. Call 999 for ambulance

  2. Start CPR while waiting for ambulance to arrive.

  3. Find the nearest AED. An AED is a portable device that sends an electric shock through the chest to the heart when needed. The shock can restore a normal rhythm to the heart.

Can Sudden Cardiac Death Be Prevented?

The risk of sudden cardiac arrest by can be reduced by getting regular checkups, being screened for heart disease and living a heart-healthy lifestyle.


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