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Cardiac Arrest Can Strike Without Warning

Cardiac Arrest Can Strike Without Warning

Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest are  Different.People often use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.

What Is  Cardiac Arrest ?

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment

Signs Of Cardiac Arrest:

  • Sudden loss of responsiveness: The person doesn’t respond, even if you tap him or her hard on the shoulders, or ask loudly if he or she is OK. The person doesn’t move, speak, blink or otherwise react.

  • No normal breathing: The person isn’t breathing or is only gasping for air.

Sometimes other signs and symptoms occur before sudden cardiac arrest. These might include:

  • Chest discomfort

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weakness

  • Fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart (palpitations)

But sudden cardiac arrest often occurs with no warning.

 Risk factors for cardiac arrest include:

  • smoking

  • sedentary lifestyle

  • high blood pressure

  • obesity

  • family history of heart disease

  • history of a previous heart attack

  • age over 45 for men, or over 55 for women

  • male gender

  • substance abuse

  • low potassium or magnesium

 What To Do In This Situation:

  • If you come across someone who is in cardiac arrest,then first of all check for a response – gently shake the person’s shoulder and ask loudly “Are you alright?”

  • Shout for help, if there is someone nearby and call for an Ambulance or a Doctor.

  • Then start to perform CPR. 

But there are some changes due to the current CORONA Virus outbreak. If you witness a cardiac arrest then it’s crucial to start CPR immediately.In Bangladesh most of the people don’t know about CPR. That’s why in cardiac arrest most of the people die even before reaching hospital. 

 So let’s see how to do CPR 

  • First of all kneel next to the person

  • Make sure the patient is lying on his back on a firm surface. Kneel beside him and place the heel of your hand on the centre of the chest.

  •  Keeping your arms straight, cover the first hand with the heel of your other hand and interlock the fingers of both hands together.

  • With the heel of the hands and straight elbows, push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

  • For adults push at least 2 inches deep. Compress their chest at a rate of least 100 times per minute. Let the chest rise fully between compressions.

  • Normally after  giving 30 compressions, we give 2 rescue breaths.  But do not give rescue breaths at this time.Please be aware that rescue breaths are not advised during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Keep going until professional help arrives and takes over, or the person starts to show signs of regaining consciousness

  • If you are feeling tired then tell someone to take over. 

Note: If you think there’s a risk of infection, lay a towel or a piece of clothing over the mouth and nose. Don’t put your face close to theirs.

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