Heart Diseases need to be treated with utmost care and importance. The heart is the most integral part of the body and keeps us alive with every beat it takes. Issues relating to the heart, if left untreated, can cause innumerable consequences and lastly death.
Sudden Cardiac Death is the unexpected death caused by a sudden loss of heart function. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is responsible for nearly half of all heart disease deaths. It frequently occurs in adults between the age group of the 30s – 40s and affects men twice more often than women.
Many confuse Sudden Cardiac Arrest with Heart Attack, but the two differ starkly. Heart Attack occurs when there is a blockage in one and more coronary arteries that prevents the heart from receiving the required amount of oxygen-rich blood. Due to the inability of the oxygen-rich blood to reach the heart muscles, it gets damaged.
On the other hand, Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs when the electrical system that goes to the heart malfunctions and suddenly becomes irregular. The heart beats dangerously fast. The blood is not delivered to the body. Within the first few minutes, the blood flow to the brain would reduce causing loss of consciousness. Death follows if emergency treatment isn’t provided.
The emergency treatment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest includes two methods:
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Also known as CPR, in this treatment, an effort is made to keep enough oxygen in the lungs which travels to the brain until the normal heartbeat is restored through electric shock.
- Defibrillation: Emergency personnel also use portable defibrillators or public access defibrillators to revive someone back to life.
Causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
- The majority of the sudden cardiac deaths are caused by irregular heart rhythms known as arrhythmias.
- One of the most common life-threatening arrhythmias is ventricular fibrillation, an erratic, disorganized firing of impulses from the ventricles.
Treatment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be treated if aid is provided within the first few minutes of the incident. The survival rate after a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is 90% if immediate action is taken, the rate of which decreases by 10% every single minute.
Long term treatments include:
- Drugs: Doctors usually prescribe numerous anti-arrhythmic drugs for the treatment of arrhythmia.
- Implantable Cardioverter Fibrillator: Once the patient is out of danger. The doctor may fit a Cardioveter Fibrillator near your left collarbone. This monitors your heart rhythm and takes necessary actions to make it normal in case of any abnormalities.
- Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation: By using this procedure, the doctors block a single abnormal electrical pathway. One or more catheters are taken through your blood vessels to your heart. They are positioned besides those electrical pathways which cause your arrhythmia.
The electrodes at the tip of the catheter have radiofrequency energy which destroys that small heart tissue creating an electrical block for the pathway that causes your arrhythmia.
Preventive Methods for Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Following up regularly with doctors, making essential lifestyle changes, consuming prescribed medications, having surgery are some preventive measures for Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
- Regular follow-up with your doctors: Doctors suggest regular visits for some time to prevent a sudden cardiac arrest. Your doctors may perform a few diagnostic tests to determine what was the reason behind the arrest.
- Ejection Fraction: In this process, the measurement of the amount of blood pumped out the heart with each beat. The Ejection Fraction of a healthy heart ranges from 55 to 65%.
If you face any heart-related issues, consult an experienced cardiologist at Venkataeswara Hospital!