Signs Of Cardiac Arrest
Knowing the signs of cardiac arrest could help you save a life. When learning about the signs of cardiac arrest, it is important to understand that cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. However, a heart attack is just as serious and medical attention needs to be sought immediately if a person is experiencing pain or pressure in the chest, pain radiating from the chest or other signs, such as shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea.
- Seizures Sometimes a person going into cardiac arrest will have twitching in the arms and legs as the flow of blood to the brain stops. These seizures last ten to twenty seconds.
- Loss of consciousness Unlike a heart attack, a person experiencing cardiac arrest will not be conscious. They will pass out and seem lifeless. The victim will not be expressing any discomfort and will not be able to communicate.
- Gasping A person experiencing cardiac arrest can continue to gasp for last several minutes after the heart stops. This is not a sign of consciousness.
- Lack of heartbeat When a person experiences cardiac arrest, the heart will stop beating. Lack of a heartbeat is the surest sign of cardiac arrest.
While both a heart attack and cardiac arrest are serious, cardiac arrest requires immediate attention. A defibrillator must be used or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) needs to be administered or death will occur within minutes. Because the timing is so crucial for victims of cardiac arrest, many public places and schools are investing in defibrillators. It's a small investment that can save a life.