Sometimes people mistakenly use the term “heart attack” to describe when someone suffers cardiac arrest. Although a heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest, they are not the same thing. Cardiac arrest can result in death if the older adult does not receive immediate medical care. Knowing more about the disease can ensure you’re able to recognize it and get help quickly.
About Cardiac Arrest.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly ceases function, the person stops breathing, and loses consciousness. It happens because of an electrical problem in the heart that makes it stop beating.
Unlike cardiac arrest, a heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is impeded by a blockage. It causes tissues in the heart to die because of the lack of blood. It is a problem with circulation, not with the electrical impulses. A heart attack does not cause the heart to stop beating, but it can cause cardiac arrest by disturbing electrical impulses.
If not treated immediately, cardiac arrest can be fatal. Death from cardiac arrest is referred to as sudden cardiac death. When cardiac arrest occurs, the lack of oxygen to the brain can result in brain damage after only a few minutes. Therefore, it’s important to call 9-1-1 right away and begin chest compressions to improve their chances of survival.
Cardiac Arrest Symptoms.
When a person suffers cardiac arrest, their symptoms will occur suddenly, and they will be dramatic. Symptoms of cardiac arrest include:
- Having no pulse.
- Not breathing.
In some cases, the person may have symptoms that occur before cardiac arrest, such as:
- Chest pain.
- Feeling short of breath.
- Heart palpitations.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if your older family member is experiencing any of the symptoms that can precede cardiac arrest, they should see a doctor. Doing so may prevent cardiac arrest.
Conditions That May Lead to Cardiac Arrest.
Usually, cardiac arrest occurs in people who have an existing heart condition. Some conditions that can lead to cardiac arrest are:
- Coronary artery disease.
- Heart attack.
- Problems with heart valves.
- Congenital heart disease.
- Problems with the heart’s electrical symptom.
Elderly care can help older adults who have heart conditions to get immediate medical care should cardiac arrest occur. If your aging family member has a serious heart condition, you may be unable to leave them safely alone. Elderly care providers can come to the house to sit with the senior while you are away at work or other places. In the event of cardiac arrest, an elderly care provider can call 9-1-1 for assistance.
If you or an aging loved one needs elderly care in Elk Grove, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.