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Sudden cardiac arrest

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a life threatening disease, which might lead to death without quick and professional interventions. It can occur because of a previous heart disease or even without any sign as well. There is maximum 1 hour between the appearance of the first symptoms and death.

Around 6 million people die because of Sudden Cardiac Arrest each year. The chance of survival is less than 1 % worldwide!

Causes (you can learn more about heart diseases here):

  • some inherited heart diseases
  • heart coronary diseases
  • arrhythmias
  • stress, physical and psychic strain can also cause it without having any recognized heart disease

Possible signals of Cardiac arrest are tiredness, breathlessness or chest pain.

The aforementioned causes can lead to the weakening of the heart’s pumping function, which causes fibrillation and eventually Sudden Cardiac Death. In this process time is the most important factor. After Sudden Cardiac Arrest, blood circulation can be restarted by cardiopulmonary resuscitation within 5 minutes (probably without cerebral damage). After 5 minutes the damage of the brain is probable, while over 10 minutes the chance of survival is very low.

If there is a suspicion of Cardiac Arrest, and you could help the individual, call immediately the ambulance and apply the steps of cardiopulmonary resuscitation-even as a lay person: clear the airway, do chest compressions and apply rescue breathing. With continuous chest compression we can gain some time until the medical personnel arrive. To restart the heart they use electric defibrillator.

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Széchenyi 2020