Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest is a frightening and potentially life-threatening condition that can strike suddenly. It occurs when there is a disturbance in the electrical impulses that control your heartbeats, known as arrhythmias. Some arrhythmias can be gradual and take time to develop, while others can rapidly lead to death. 

Many people confuse cardiac arrest with a heart attack, but the two are different in their origin and other contributing factors. 

What is the difference between a Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest?

A heart attack occurs due to blockage in the artery connected to the heart (coronary artery), which leads to an inadequate supply of oxygen and vital nutrients to the heart. On the other hand, cardiac arrest is a condition when a person's heart suddenly stops pumping blood. While cardiac arrest can occur if a heart attack is not managed, a person with a heart attack may show a shift in heart rhythms leading to cardiac arrest. 

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest so that prompt medical attention can be sought. 

What causes Cardiac Arrest?

Your heart's rhythms and blood flow are controlled by an electrical system, and any disturbance to this system can cause cardiac arrest. Your heart may either beat too fast, too slow or not at all, depending on various factors. Sudden cardiac arrest is common in people with heart problems, but it can also occur in people with no history of heart disease. Certain factors or risk conditions, however, contribute to cardiac arrest in people with no history of heart disease. These include: 

  • Coronary artery disease: In this condition, the arteries are clogged by cholesterol or fat deposits, leading to a reduction in blood flow. 
  • Heart attack: A consequence of coronary artery disease where the blood flow to the heart is blocked. 
  • Ventricular fibrillation: In this condition, arrhythmias start in the ventricles (lower chamber of the heart). 
  • Enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy): In this condition, the heart walls enlarge or thicken, leading to abnormal heart rates. 
  • Physical stress: An intense physical activity triggers the production of a hormone, adrenaline, which can trigger cardiac arrest. 
  • Valvular heart disease: Narrowing of heart valves. 
  • Congenital heart disease: A heart defect present from birth. 

Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest usually occurs with no warning, and the symptoms may vary from person to person. The initial symptom of a sudden cardiac arrest is loss of consciousness or fainting. These symptoms can be drastic and include: 

  • Sudden fainting. 
  • No sign of breathing. 
  • No pulse sensation. 
  • Loss of consciousness. 

In some cases, certain signs and symptoms may occur before a cardiac arrest, including severe chest pain, chest discomfort, weakness, shortness of breath, or palpitations (pounding of the heart). 

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek emergency medical care immediately. By acting quickly, you can help improve the chances of survival and prevent potentially serious complications. 

What to do in case of Cardiac Arrest? 

It's important to note that some people may not experience typical symptoms such as chest pain before having a heart attack, particularly women, the elderly, and those with diabetes. If you feel any discomfort or suspect a heart attack, do not delay and call for emergency medical assistance immediately. The sooner you receive treatment, the better your chances of survival. If you believe you or someone else is having a heart attack, contact emergency services or call Sterling Hospitals at 98 98 98 78 78 

How do we diagnose Cardiac Arrest? 

The entire diagnosis and treatment protocol for cardiac arrest is quick at Sterling  owing to the danger. Our team tries to revive the patient with advanced facilities on our ICU on Wheels. Once the patient is stable and received at our medical emergency department, we proceed with tests to learn the reason causing the arrest.  

The initial tests include: 

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): to check the electrical activity of the heart. 
  • Blood tests: to check the levels of hormones, magnesium, potassium, and other chemicals. 

In addition to this, the other tests include: 

  • Chest X-ray: to check the shape and size of the heart and blood vessels. 
  • Echocardiogram: to check heart damage and detect a change in pumping. 
  • Nuclear scan: to check blood flow problems in the heart. 
  • Coronary catheterization: to identify the blockage in the artery. 

Why Sterling Hospitals For Cardiac Emergencies? 

Sterling Hospitals is a premier healthcare facility that specializes in emergency and trauma care, particularly for cardiac emergencies. We are well-equipped to handle such situations, thanks to our legacy of expertise in this field. Here are some reasons why you should consider Sterling Hospitals for cardiac emergencies: 

  • We prioritize time and understand the importance of prompt care. That's why our Door to Initial Assessment time is within 10 minutes. 
  • Our team of well-trained medical professionals ensures that our Door to ECG time is within 10 minutes. 
  • We have the necessary infrastructure to perform CT scans on patients, with our Door to CT time being within 25 minutes. 
  • Our state-of-the-art Cathlab enables us to perform Primary Angioplasty on patients within 90 minutes of their arrival. 
  • Our 24*7 Ambulance or ICU on wheels services are fully equipped to save a patient’s life, and we also offer Air Ambulance (airlift) facilities for patients in critical situations where ground transportation may not be safe or practical. 

At Sterling Hospitals, we understand that emergency resuscitation requires excellent teamwork and collaboration between different specialists. Our well-coordinated approach ensures that patients receive comprehensive care from a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including anaesthesia, cardiothoracic, neurosurgery, and more. We also ensure that our cardiac specialists are on standby to receive patients at the drive-through and start treatment immediately upon arrival. 

Overall, our advanced facilities, experienced staff, and commitment to prompt and effective care make us a top choice for cardiac emergencies. 

How do we Diagnose and Treat Cardiac Arrest? 

Our medical emergency team is highly efficient in treating cardiac arrest. Upon receiving the patient, we immediately begin reviving them with a defibrillator in the ambulance, aiming to stabilize them for further treatment by our cardiac and medical emergency teams at the hospital. 

Upon arrival at the hospital, our doctors begin with medications to stabilize the patient's heart rhythm and conduct a thorough diagnosis before proceeding with appropriate interventions based on the patient's condition. These interventions may include  

  • Medical Management 
  • Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Placement (Link to Procedure detail in cariology Section) 
  • Coronary Angioplasty (Link to Procedure detail in cariology Section) 
  • Coronary Bypass Surgery (Link to Procedure detail in cariology Section) 
  • Corrective Heart Surgery (Link to Procedure detail in cariology Section) 
  • Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation. (Link to Procedure detail in cariology Section) 

Following any major heart surgery, a hospital stay of 4-5 days is typically required for complete recovery. After surgery, the patient will be observed in a recovery room until their vitals are stable and they are alert enough to be moved to their hospital room. Our team of doctors and nurses will monitor the patient's heart health daily and provide education on self-monitoring after discharge. 

It may take 4-6 weeks for the patient to gradually return to their normal routine following discharge. It's essential to attend follow-up appointments and remain vigilant for any warning signs or symptoms during recovery.