Although the human body is a system of sophisticated and highly advanced mechanisms, it isn’t safe from diseases and malfunctions. Moreover, the modern lifestyle encourages the consumption of junk foods and a sedentary routine, which further escalates the problems. A majority of disorders happen because of our ignorance. Nonetheless, it is a great idea to be aware of the causes of a particular disease.
What is a Cardiac Arrest?
With so many medical terms circulating the world, it is unsurprising that people often confuse cardiac arrest with a heart attack. Interestingly, they are entirely different conditions. A heart attack occurs when the heart is not able to pump blood because of blockages, whereas cardiac arrest is the abrupt stop of the heart. Immediate medical care is required for a cardiac arrest, as vital organs like the brain and lungs stop receiving blood, it can lead to a person becoming unconscious and even dying.
Most Common Cause of Cardiac Arrest
1. Ventricular Fibrillation
Among many cardiovascular diseases, ventricular fibrillation is one of the most common causes of cardiac arrest. In this condition, the heart’s rhythm becomes irregular, known as arrhythmia, because of lost control over the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. This leads to inefficient pumping of the blood, meaning less blood is pumped into the body. Unsurprisingly, it results in a lack of blood circulation, and ultimately, cardiac arrest.
2. Atrial Fibrillation
Similar to the previous condition, atrial fibrillation also occurs because of abnormal heart rhythm; however, in this condition, the heart’s upper chambers (atria) begin to beat rapidly. This unsynchronized the beating of lower and upper chambers. As the pacemaker is responsible for the regulation of the speed of the pumping of the blood, and it works by sending electrical impulses to the atria, the arrhythmia, in this case, is caused by the malfunction of the pacemaker. Unsurprisingly, its malfunction causes rapid and irregular heartbeats leading to cardiac arrest.
3. Coronary Artery Disease
Although coronary artery disease is one of the prominent causes of heart attack, it is also quite a common cause of cardiac arrest. In this, the arteries are narrowed or blocked because of the buildup of fatty deposits known as plaque. The function of the arteries is to supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart, failing to do results in an overworked heart because essential nutrients and oxygen are not being received by the heart. It is also known as ischemic heart disease.
Depending on many factors, when the heart stiffens, thickens, becomes enlarged, or scarred, it is known as cardiomyopathy. Not only does this causes the heart to function inefficiently but also weakens the heart over time. Additionally, a patient suffering from cardiomyopathy requires a heart transplant, eventually. If the heart is not replaced, it can cause cardiac arrest.
5. Valvular Heart Disease
Once the heart valves begin to leak or constrict for various reasons, it results in either stretching or thickening of the heart muscles. Over time, a patient with valvular heart disease develops arrhythmia. Cardiologists typically identify this condition by hearing a distinct murmur in between each heartbeat. This murmur is caused because of rough blood flow.
Although there are many factors that can contribute to a cardiac arrest, there are some which put an individual at a greater risk for it.
1. Family History
This goes without saying, but genetics play a huge role in determining if a person will develop heart disease or not. If a person’s family has a running history of cardiac arrest, chances are they are likely to experience it as well.
One of the most widely used legal drugs in the world is also the most dangerous one. Smoking cigarettes causes the buildup of plaque and tar in the body, which leads to the heart being stressed. Smokers are often seen wheezing and having shortness of breath. Over time, the harmful chemicals from the smoke can cause permanent damage to the heart, resulting in cardiac arrest.
3. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, especially when resting, puts an individual at a higher risk of cardiac arrest.
Perhaps the number one reason for most cardiovascular diseases is obesity. It increases the risk of cardiac arrest by tenfold. As increased body weight demands more energy for movement, this puts a great strain on the heart.
Deemed a pandemic in the modern world, diabetes is a source of numerous diseases, and cardiac arrest is one of them.