Cardiac Arrest Definition
If you or someone you love has a history of heart problems, then you will want the cardiac arrest definition. Cardiac arrest is also known as "sudden cardiac death." That alone tells you that cardiac arrest is a serious matter.
The first thing one needs to realize about cardiac arrest is that is it not the same thing as a heart attack. When a person has a heart attack, blood flow to their heart is blocked, but their heart usually continues beating. When a person experiences cardiac arrest, their heart stops cold.
A person who experiences a cardiac arrest has first had a malfunction in the internal system that regulates the hearts rhythm. An abnormal heart rate is also known as arrhythmia. Cardiac arrest is an extreme form of arrhythmia that makes the heart stop beating.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, "There are many possible causes of cardiac arrest. They include coronary heart disease, heart attack, electrocution, drowning or choking. There may not be a known cause to the cardiac arrest." Because the causes are so varied, cardiac arrest can be difficult to prevent or foresee.
When a person experiences a cardiac arrest, they will die without medical intervention. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or a defibrillator are crucial in restarting the heart. This intervention must occur within minutes if the person experiencing cardiac arrest is to survive. For this reason, many public facilities and schools are purchasing defibrillators to have on hand. Quick intervention after a cardiac arrest is truly the difference between life and death.