Cardiac arrest: Can you recover from it? Causes and risk factors

Cardiac arrest: Can you recover from it? Causes and risk factors
Cardiac arrest: Can you recover from it? Causes and risk factors

New Delhi: Former Union Minister E Ahamed passed away early Wednesday after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Ahamed, who collapsed Tuesday morning during the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, was 78 years of age.

Earlier, Jayalalithaa, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, too died of cardiac arrest on December 5 last year.

Here are some things you need to know about the heart condition.

Cardiac arrest is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness. It is unpredictable and can happen to anyone, including teenagers. Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency and causes death sudden death if not treated immediately.

Causes and risk factors

Coronary artery disease, which often results in coronary ischemia and ventricular fibrillation (v-fib), is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest.

Coronary ischemia, also called cardiac ischemia, is a medical term for not having enough blood through the coronary arteries.

Ventricular fibrillation is a life threatening abnormal condition that causes your heart to beat quickly and out of rhythm.

Risk factors of sudden cardiac arrest are similar to those of coronary artery disease. These include - smoking, lack of physical exercise, obesity, diabetes, family history, a sedentary lifestyle, as well as drinking too much alcohol.

Can you survive a cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it's treated within a few minutes. However, the chances of surviving an episode outside a hospital are poor.

As per a report in British Heart Foundation, ventricular fibrillation can sometimes be corrected by giving an electric shock through the chest wall, by using a device called a defibrillator.

If you encounter someone who has collapsed or is not breathing normally, experts suggest giving CPR immediately and continuing it until professional emergency medical services arrive. 

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