Causes of Cardiac Arrest and What to Do In case of an Emergency

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A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and pumping blood. It is a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention to prevent loss of life. Dr. Rishin Shah, MD, is a cardiovascular physician in Frisco, TX, and applies different intervention measures to help patients cope with a cardiac arrest. Here are the causes of cardiac arrest, symptoms, and what to do in an emergency.


The leading cause of cardiac arrests is a condition known as myocardial infarction or heart attack, which is the sudden blockage in the coronary artery. Therefore, the heart muscle is unable to get enough oxygen and therefore leads to cardiac arrest. The first symptom is loss of consciousness, and the heart may stop beating. Other conditions can increase the risk of cardiac arrest. These include ischemic heart disease, unusual potassium and magnesium levels in the blood, intense exercise, large heart, and stimulant drugs.


Most people who suffer from cardiac arrest suffer from sudden chest pain, which can be acute or prolonged. It can be characterized by pain that radiates to your jaws, back and arms. Also, you may feel lightheadedness or dizziness, and many faint. These symptoms usually indicate a sudden drop in your blood pressure, leading to low blood flow to your brain. Also, you may experience shortness of breath and chest discomfort. Other symptoms include sweating or vomiting and extreme tiredness.

What to do in case of a cardiac arrest

The very first minutes are essential as they can save a life. In case someone suffers a cardiac arrest, it is vital to call 911 for emergency services. Next, check if they are still breathing, and then apply CPR using your hands. Place your hands on the chest followed by a firm pushes quickly. Continue doing so until a doctor arrives. This procedure ensures blood is flowing and there is no interruption of oxygen supply to the brain.


After emergency treatment, the patient is admitted to a hospital for monitoring and treatment. Typically, there will be medication to avert another episode followed by several tests to diagnose the causes of the cardiac arrest. The doctor evaluates the medical history and may recommend an operation to ensure a continuous blood supply to the heart. Special devices are used to monitor the heart rhythms and ensure the heart keeps pumping normally. In addition, the medics will ensure one gets enough rest for the body to recover from cardiac arrest at the hospital fully.

Prevention of cardiac arrest

If you are at risk of developing cardiac arrest, it is essential to consume a healthy diet, work out regularly, and stop smoking. Also, the doctor may prescribe specific medication that lowers your blood pressure and reduces cholesterol. Also, an ICD device may be implanted in your body to monitor heart movements.

Cardiac arrests can cause the heart to stop beating. It is a dangerous condition that requires urgent attention. To find out if you are at risk of cardiac arrest, contact Prime Heart and Vascular specialists.