Save a life in cardiac arrest | Dr. Shirish (M.S.) Hiremath

Dr. Shirish (M.S.) Hiremath

Save a life in cardiac arrest 

What is sudden cardiac arrest? Is it the same thing as having a heart attack?
SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest) is a leading cause of death worldwide.The annual incidence of SCA in India is believed to be between 5 and 10 lakhs, accounting for roughly 10% of all deaths. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart abruptly stops beating (suddenly & unexpectedly). Blood flow to the body is cut off as a result of this. The person becomes unconscious if the brain does not receive blood flow for longer than three seconds. The brain suffers permanent damage if there is no blood flow to it for two minutes. The person dies if the heart is not restarted within a few minutes (through active intervention). Every second counts, and medical assistance must be given first and foremost. If this does not happen, the situation will be fatal. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is not the same as a 'Heart Attack.' A heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when the blood supply to a part of the Heart Muscle is stopped due to a Blockage in the Coronary Artery. A heart attack usually causes chest pain and breathlessness; the heart muscle becomes weak, and the heart pumping reduces. If the heart attack is very severe, it may result in a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. 

Do all SCAs, result in a person's death?
No, that is not the case. Death could be avoided by taking a few easy steps. The person who watches the disaster (bystander) must respond swiftly and responsibly. It's possible that you'll be a bystander. It's possible that your quick action will save his life. Almost 85% of SCAs happen outside of the hospital. As a result, everyone should be familiar with the fundamentals of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

Who is at a higher risk of developing a SCA?
SCA is more common among the elderly and those who already have cardiac problems. It can, however, arise in young, seerningly healthy people on rare occasions. SCA can strike at any time, in any location, and to anyone. 

If someone faints, how do we know that this patient has SCA?What should we do?
When you witness sorneone fainting, the first step is to make
the victim lie down flat on the floor. Do not try to make him sit up or stand. A person who has a simple fainting episode will usually regain consciousness within 20 to 30 seconds. If the victim remains motionless for more than 40 — 50 seconds, it is likely to be an SCA. Once you suspect SCA things you should do are:
1. The first thing to do is shout for help from the people around. If alone, make a phone call to emergency services.
2. Make sure the victim is lying flat on the floor.
3. Give a firm tap on his shoulder and call out loudly to him to make sure he is responsive or not.
4. In case there is no response, try to watch if he is breathing normally or not. 5. Try to check if he has a pulse. If you are unable to find his pulse, immediately begin resuscitation by rneans of chest compression.

As illustrated in the figure, give chest compression by firmly pressing on the mid to lower part of the sternum at a rate of about 1 00/rninute.The sternum should be compressed about 5to 6cm. 

If one has access to Automated External Defibrillator (AED), it can be of great help in case victim's heart is fibrillating. An AED is a very simple life-saving device. It is small, lightweight, and easy to use. It has 2 electrodes (pads like stickers — shown in picture) which need to be connected to the patient's chest. The AED automatically analyses the patient's cardiac condition and gives step by step voice comrnands. It gives high energy shock to help heart resume normal rhythm. 
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Disclaimer: The information provided here should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. The information is provided solely for educational purpose and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice.