Causes of Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac Arrest is a sudden loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness. This condition occurs because the heart which generates and pumps blood in the body is disturbed and stops functioning leading to no flow of blood in the body particularly the brain and resulting in death. Cardiac arrest is abrupt, sudden, and different than a heart attack where the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked; though a heart attack may lead to a cardiac arrest in some cases. A cardiac arrest is a very critical situation where the heart - that makes blood (in its upper chamber or atrium) and pumps blood to all other organs of the body through the heart valves – crashes and seizes to function. This sudden failure of the system leads to loss of heartbeat, no flow of blood in the body, loss of organ functions, and ultimately death. The bottom chambers of the heart (ventricles) stop beating and start behaving like mere thick gooey masses leading to no production of heartbeat or supply of oxygen and blood into the body. This abrupt crash of the system if not resurrected timely can lead to immediate death. As per records, 95% of people who suffer from a cardiac arrest succumb to death. According to research, each year in India, 10% of deaths happen because of cardiac arrest, which is also the most common cause of death in the world. While a cardiac arrest is sudden and occurs without any prior symptoms or warning leaving a slim chance of detection, yet proper knowledge and awareness about cardiac attack symptoms are useful to get immediate medical help. Some of the general cardiac attack symptoms that people might experience are: Abruptly racing heartbeatExtreme anxietyDizzinessDangerous heart rhythmFluttering ventriclesFrozen body temperature and numbness Sudden collapsePainful and difficult breathingLoss of pulse Most of these symptoms occur very near to a cardiac arrest, whereas there are a couple of cardiac arrest symptoms that if paid heed to could signal the upcoming dysfunctionality. These might include: Chest pain or discomfortShortness of breathFatigue WeaknessPalpitations However, you can always seek advance medical help to know if there are any irregularities in heart functioning. You should see a doctor if you experience any of these: Chest pain or discomfortRapid or irregular heartbeatsContinuous unexplained wheezingShortness of breathExtreme heart palpitationsLoss of consciousnessDizziness and blurriness of sight Most cardiac arrest symptoms are short timed and do not leave much time to act before the arrest, hence, the best way to save a life is to avoid all cardiac arrest causes and stay clear of reasons and factors that can trigger a cardiac arrest. Causes of Cardiac Arrest Sudden cardiac arrests occur without a warning and hence, it is very crucial to know why cardiac arrests happen to avoid/remove those causes and be prepared for the worst circumstances. Some of the major reasons for cardiac arrests that one must know are: Heart Conditions that can lead to a Cardiac Arrest Coronary Artery Disease: One of the most common cardiac arrest causes is a coronary artery disease in which the coronary arteries of the heart are narrowed or clogged. These arteries can be clogged due to building up of cholesterol and fatty items called...Read More
What is cardiac rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is a programme that aims to medically enhance the cardiovascular health of a patient, who has experienced a recent heart attack, heart failure; or has undergone an angioplasty, angioplasty, heart surgery; or recovered from any other critical heart disease. The rehabilitation programme is conducted under medical supervision and is also called cardiac rehab. The ultimate objective of cardiac rehabilitation is to help a patient regain strength, prevent worsening of the condition, reduce future risks and improve the quality of life – after a heart attack or a preventive heart surgery. The programme involves exercise training, emotional counselling, lifestyle education, and more. Cardiac Rehabilitation programmes have known to reduce the risk of death from heart problems, heart diseases and minimise future risks as well. Cardiac rehabilitation programmes are customised per individual needs and offer one-to-one supervised training, education and counselling. Through the programme, patient benefits in the following manner: Improve physical healthKnow beneficial heart-healthy exercisesAdopt a nutrition-rich dietManage cardiovascular risksFollow the prescribed treatment planReduce stressStrengthen emotional healthControl cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) That said, cardiac rehabilitation can prove life-saving for some patients. As per studies, patients who undertake a cardiac rehabilitation programme have 30% lesser fatal heart problems and are 25% less likely to die from heart problems as compared to patients who only opt for standard treatment. Moreover, cardiac rehab helps to lower the chances of a second heart attack and heart surgery. These programmes are comprehensive and provide step-by-step guidance to make long-term health changes. Some other benefits of cardiac rehabilitation programme include: Lower chest pain and other related problemsFewer medicationsPreventive careLower chances of hospitalisation in the long-runEffective weight lossBetter nutritionReduced stressEnhanced emotional well-being Who should opt for cardiac rehabilitation? Cardiac rehabilitation is an effective programme for people suffering from a variety of heart diseases or people who are at higher risk of heart problems. In particular, people who have the following medical history are most likely to benefit from the programme. Heart attackHeart failureStable chest pain (Angina)Cardiac stentingAngioplastyCoronary artery bypass surgeryHeart valve repair or replacementHeart or lung-transplantCoronary artery diseasePeripheral artery problemsCardiomyopathyCongenital heart problemsPulmonary hypertensionAbusive heart health (due to smoking, excessive alcohol, etc.)Stress-related heart problemsHigh heart-health risk factors (high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) There is no age limit for the programme; it is beneficial for people of all ages and gender. What are the risks of cardiac rehabilitation? A cardiac rehabilitation programme is not fit for everyone who has or had a heart problem or surgery. The doctor will assess the patient’s heart condition, overall health including past medical records, and conduct several physical tests to ensure the patient is fit for the programme. In some rare cases, the patient might suffer injuries, strained muscles, sprains, etc. due to exercising. But it is temporary and can be treated easily. The team will monitor the patient’s health regularly and provide guidance on how to avoid injury at home. What to expect during cardiac rehabilitation? A normal cardiac rehabilitation is about 3 months long but in...Read More
Myocardial Infarction Treatment and Management
Myocardial infarction or also popularly known as “heart attack” is a condition where the heart stops working because it is starved of oxygen and nutrients (for a prolonged period of time) which are essential for its survival. The heart needs its consistent supply of oxygen and nutrients to ensure there is proper pumping of blood through the body. Our heart is made up of four major arteries that support its pumping function; two of these arteries are large while the other two are small. The large arteries are responsible for delivering oxygenated blood to heart. But when any of these arteries is blocked, narrowed or has a leakage, the function is disrupted and a part of the heart is starved of oxygen, which leads to cardiac ischemia. This blockage is because of buildup of plaque in the arteries due to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cellular waste, etc. When the cardiac ischemia is prolonged, the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen for too long resulting in death of the muscle, also referred to as a heart attack or a myocardial infarction. While a myocardial infarction may or may not depict early signs of occurrence, it sometimes might reflect as acute chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of conscious, nausea, anxiety, excessive sweating, pounding heart rate, etc. These symptoms are very generic and may depend on condition of the person. In all cases, whether or not there are symptoms of a myocardial infarction, it is very important to know the guidelines for myocardial infarction treatment. The most important thing to know about a myocardial infarction treatment is that it is sudden and needs emergency medical help and immediate care. The most widely used myocardial infarction treatment is an angioplasty, a minimally invasive procedure where the doctor inserts a thin, fine tube called a catheter mounted with a tiny balloon into the blocked artery through an incision in the arm or groin. Once the catheter is in the right spot, the tiny balloon is inflated to remove the blockage from the artery and clear the passage to allow blood flow by pushing the plaque build up to the walls of the artery. The procedure restores the optimum blood flow and oxygen to the heart by removing the blockage from the artery, widening the artery for smooth flow, and ensuring optimal heart health and safety. Once the blood supply is regulated, the balloon is deflated and removed from the body. This procedure is often time followed by the placement of a stent – a stainless steel mesh – in the heart of the patient to ensure the arteries do not clog again in future. However, in many cases, where the condition of the person is not suitable to be considered for an angioplasty or the patient needs more intense care, the doctors can also resort to a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) for a myocardial infarction treatment. A CABG treatment restores the blood flow and oxygen to the heart by using blood vessels...Read More