What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
This occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. It is commonly due to an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF), in which the electrical signals that regulate the pumping action of the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart go haywire. With the ventricles unable to pump blood to the organs and brain, the heart stops beating. If CPR is not given and the heart is not shocked back into regular rhythm with an AED, the body and the brain are deprived of oxygen and death results.
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.
Signs of a Heart Attack:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1...Get to a hospital right away.