Cardiac arrest is the sudden loss of heart function, as well as loss of consciousness and breathing. The heart is no longer adequately beating or functioning, usually because of an electrical disturbance to the heart, therefore it stops pumping blood and oxygen throughout the body. A heart attack, when blood flow to part of the heart is disrupted, can trigger that electrical disturbance which can precede to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The heart can be doing things such as misfiring or quivering. During a heart attack, the heart does not usually stop beating, unlike an SCA. With a heart attack there is typically a circulation issue, such as a blockage. An SCA indicates there is a heart electrical malfunction.
If not treated immediately, the heart will eventually slow down until it stops. Since the oxygen-rich blood cannot get transported to the vital organs, like the brain and lungs, ultimately the victim will very sadly, and most likely die.
Heart attacks can increase the possibility of an SCA, and an SCA can happen after a heart attack. Heart attacks and SCAs are real medical emergencies and require intervention from prepared bystanders to provide the greatest opportunity of survival for the victim.
The 5 most common heart attack warning signs include--
1. Shortness of breath
2. Chest discomfort or pain
3. Back pain, neck pain, jaw pain
4. Vomiting, nausea, or lightheadedness
5. Shoulder or arm pain or discomfort
Keep in mind, some common symptoms begin slowly and could appear for weeks, days or hours before a heart attack and differ from men to women, as well as from person to person. Therefore, if you are not sure if someone is experiencing a heart attack, it’s always best to call 9-1-1 for assistance so emergency medical technicians can arrive, provide assistance and care, and transport to a hospital.
With an SCA, a victim may suddenly collapse, faint, and lose consciousness so you must check for a pulse and breathing. Immediately call 9-1-1, or have a bystander do so while you stay with the victim. Begin CPR and if there is an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site, use it as required and directed by the AED until first responders arrive to provide care.
Proper response during an SCA is critical, as is response time, so consider an online CPR certification course, such as those offered by MyCPR NOW. By taking a CPR course online, you learn at your own pace and on your own time how to perform adult CPR, child CPR through online CPR manuals and CPR videos, then take an online CPR pretest. The online CPR self-study course will cover topics such as hand placement, compression depth, compression rate, ventilation rate, ventilation tidal volume, and one rescuer versus two rescuer operations. Once you pass the CPR certification questions and CPR exam, you will be able to purchase and print your CPR certification and pocket card online.
Get started today so you will have the skills and gain the confidence to assist someone who may be experiencing a heart attack or an SCA. Fast and proper action saves lives!