A beating heart is essential for survival. When the heart suddenly stops beating, blood flow to the brain and other organs is disrupted. If not treated within minutes, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is deadly. At Corrielus Cardiology, we recognize the importance of educating the community on ways to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. Our Philadelphia heart center takes an integrative and non-invasive approach to diagnosing and treating all types of heart conditions, including SCA.
Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. SCA generally occurs when there is an electrical disturbance in the heart that impairs its pumping action and ability to send blood to the brain and body. While heart attack and SCA are both serious and life-threatening, individuals with sudden cardiac arrest can encounter a sudden loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness.
Symptoms & Causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest is true to its name. It often presents itself suddenly or without warning. SCA usually occurs from an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm. When the heart's electrical system suffers malfunction, the heart begins to beat too fast or too slow. While arrhythmias are typically harmless, they can be serious enough to cause your heart to unexpectedly stop beating altogether (SCA).
How does a life-threatening arrhythmia occur? While it is possible to have a healthy heart and encounter an outside force that triggers the sudden cardiac arrest (such as chest trauma, illegal drug use or electrical shock), it is more commonly a result of an underlying heart condition. Coronary artery disease, heart attack, valvular heart disease and cardiomyopathy are examples of pre-existing heart conditions that lead to SCA.
Treatment of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Immediate treatment of sudden cardiac arrest often includes CPR and a defibrillator to restart the heart's pumping action and restore oxygen to the body. At Corrielus Cardiology, our focus is on helping patients avoid sudden cardiac arrest by making them aware of their personal risk for such a serious encounter. Risk factors for SCA include family history of CAD, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes and alcohol abuse. If you have an underlying heart disease that puts you at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, you can trust Dr. Corrielus to manage your condition closely and appropriately. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Corrielus.