Why do cardiac arrests happen?
Cardiac arrest happens when there is sudden loss of heart function, leading to loss of breathing and ultimately consciousness. A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart – the most vital organ – that generates the pump to flow to the other organs of the body, especially the brain, is disturbed. As a result, it cannot function properly due to some causes, leading to stop of blood flow to the brain and death. The heart makes blood in its upper chamber called the atrium and then pumps the blood to all other organs of the body through the heart valves. When an electric malfunctioning in the heart causes this pumping action to be hampered; the bottom chambers of the heart (ventricles) stop beating and start behaving like mere thick gooey masses leading to no production of heart beat or supply of oxygen and blood into the body. This unexpected crash of the system, if not resurrected with attentive and proper medical care, may result in death. As per research, in India, 10% of deaths happen due to cardiac arrest, which is also the most common cause of death in the world. It is important to note here that cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. In a heart attack, blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked leading to severe pain. However, a heart attack may intensify and cause a cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is a sudden and an extremely critical situation and needs to be detected and treated immediately to avoid severe complications that can also cause death. Sudden cardiac arrests occur without a warning and hence, it is very crucial to know why cardiac arrests happen so as to avoid/remove those causes and be prepared for the worst circumstances. Some of the major reasons of 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 build up of cholesterol and fatty items called plaques. This plaque tends to stick to the inner walls of the arteries, restricting the blood flow and thereby causing a system malfunction. Heart Attack: A heart attack is different from a cardiac arrest, but could lead to one in severe cases. A heart is most likely a result of severe coronary artery disease and can lead to ventricular fibrillation causing sudden cardiac arrest. A heart attack also leaves a scar tissue; any disturbance around the scar tissue can cause abnormalities in the functioning and beating of the heart. Cardiomyopathy or an Enlarged Heart: An enlarged heart is another cause of cardiac arrest as it indicates weakened heart muscles, coronary heart disease, or a valve problem. This is caused when the muscles of the heart are overly stretched, enlarged and thickened, limiting the flow of flood from the heart to...Read More
Life after Heart Bypass Surgery
A heart bypass surgery is performed to restore the blood flow and oxygen to the heart by using blood vessels from another part of the body - such as chest, or leg veins - and connecting them with blood vessels that are below or above the blocked or narrowed artery; hence, leading to a bypass for the compromised artery. The number of arteries used to connect is dependent on the severity of the condition. The procedure is highly successful and is one of the prime methods used to correct blockages, narrowing or leakages in arteries. While the surgery itself might be quite strenuous, it is widely used to cure heart problems. But just the heart bypass surgery is not sufficient to guarantee good heart health and minimise chances of another heart problem or attack. The problems of the heart have been cured, but the underlying process of build of plaque could further block the carotid arteries leading to the brain, stop blood flow to the legs, or kidneys. In such cases, the patient might also suffer from a stroke, or several other diseases. However, if risk factors that can trigger health problem are removed, the chances of a healthy heart post a heart bypass surgery increase to large extent. Life after heart bypass surgery would require some strict modifications in lifestyle and adoptions of certain processes. Slow Healing Process: Post a heart bypass surgery, the recovery period would be long and one must let the body regain strength slowly and steadily. Make steady improvements each day but never pressurise the heart in any condition. Consult the doctor about the involvement in physical activities. No Smoking: Life after a heart bypass surgery will strictly restrict smoking. Smoking damages the lining of the arteries causing fat to build up, which ultimately leads to narrowing of the artery and hampering of flow of blood in the body. Not just smokers but even non-smokers are highly subject to developing heart diseases due to prolonged exposure to smoke. Regular Medications: Once the heart bypass surgery is done, the doctor will advise certain medications to enhance the recovery of the heart and regain its strength. It is very critical to ensure that no dosages of the medicines are missed. These medications could include blood thinners (to restore blood flow), thrombolytics (to dissolve clots), nitroglycerin (to widen blood vessels), antiplatelet (to prevent new clots), and pain killers (to cub the pain). During the intake of these medicines, the body might experience few negligible changes such as sensitivity to bruise easily, longer bleeding from clots, etc. Healthy Diet: After a heart bypass surgery, life needs to bring in changes in diet. Unhealthy foods that are high on cholesterol, sodium, trans fat, saturated fat, etc. should be avoided. Instead, foods such as green leafy vegetables, fish, whole grains, seeds, low-fat dairy, dry-fruits, fibre, etc. should be consumed and fit into the regular diet. Also, the diet should be full of nutrition. Easy Physical Activity: One of the major causes...Read More
Healthy Lifestyles to Prevent a Cardiac Arrest
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 heart beat 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, on an average 10% of the total deaths in India are caused due to cardiac arrests, which also is one of the major causes of death in the world. One of the prime reasons apart from congenital or acquired heart diseases is the unhealthy lifestyle that leads to a cardiac arrest. An unhealthy lifestyle -involving lack of physical activity, consumption of excessive alcohol, smoking, high intake of fried food, obesity, drug abuse, lack of nutritional diet, etc. - is a very strong trigger for a cardiac arrest. It leads to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and several other issues, which ultimately compromise the functioning of the arteries by blocking, narrowing or in many severe cases causing a leakage that disturbs the functioning of the heart. Some major cardiac arrest symptoms include abruptly racing heartbeat, extreme anxiety, dizziness, thumping heart rhythm, fluttering ventricles, frozen body temperature, acute shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, and palpitations. While cardiac arrests are sudden, they are preventable provided a healthy lifestyle and habits are adopted. No matter what age or gender, a healthy lifestyle is the major step to avoid a cardiac arrest. Some of the healthy lifestyle habits that one must practice are: Indulge in Healthy Eating: Food defines the age of the heart, hence it is very important to feed it the right stuff to ensure proper and healthy heart functioning. Foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol, sugar, etc. should be avoided. Instead, consumption of fresh fruits, green vegetables, fibre, whole grains, fish, nuts, etc. is extremely good for the heart and aids its running. Dairy products, red meat and poultry are also not a healthy option for the heart. Consume dry fruits and use less oil in cooking food. Also, the diet should be full of nutrition. Increase Physical Activeness: One of the major causes of a cardiac arrest is the lack of physical activity. No matter what age or gender, at least 30 minutes of any kind of physical activity is very essential to prevent heart problems and especially a cardiac arrest. Medium to high workout level is critical to maintain the heart strength and burn that build-up of plaque. Get regular check-ups done: A healthy lifestyle habit that should be implemented is to be aware about the heart’s...Read More