Risk Factors for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Author: Hilary Eldridge

Why Home Care near Sandy Springs GA Can Help Prevent It

The heart is a major muscle responsible for pumping blood throughout the body’s entire circulatory system. Your choice of lifestyle habits and how you treat your body will reflect in the condition of your heart. Regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and not smoking increase your chances of maintaining a healthy heart dramatically. A cholesterol filled diet and sedentary lifestyle increases your chances of heart disease. Home care services for seniors should be familiar with the risk factors of cardiac arrest and work to help prevent it.

One important thing that home health care services should be aware of is the difference between a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest. A heart attack is when the coronary artery is blocked causing damage to the heart. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when an abnormal heart rhythm stops the flow of blood to the rest of the body. Cardiac arrest can be the result of a heart attack but it is possible to go into sudden cardiac arrest without having a blocked artery.

A cardiac arrest can present without warning but common symptoms are:

  • Collapsing suddenly
  • No pulse
  • Breathing has stopped
  • Loss of consciousness

A person who goes into sudden cardiac arrest has a limited amount of time before the brain is lost. Time is crucial for someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest as defibrillation is the best response. Every minute that passes without the heart being defibrillated reduces the chance of survival by 20 percent. Doctors will also prescribe medications to help with recovery, reduce pain, and prevent a reoccurrence.

Another effective method for preventing fatal arrhythmias is the surgical implantation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. An ICD monitors the heart rhythm and shocks the heart when it detects an abnormal rhythm.

Risk factors for cardiac arrest are:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High cholesterol

A person who experiences sudden cardiac arrest and survives has to re-evaluate their lifestyle. Many survivors have some degree of neurological impairment. An in-home care provider can help by promoting a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and a smoke free environment.

Sudden cardiac arrest can remind us just how vulnerable we are and unhealthy lifestyle choices are often a contributing factor. Experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest is the heart’s way of telling someone that they have to change their way of life. Home care can be a reliable source to support and guide you through the transition.



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