By Roz Jones
On January 12, 2023, the world was shocked to learn of the passing of Lisa Marie Presley due to cardiac arrest and after watching the recent collapse of National Football League Buffalo Bills Player Damar Hamlin on January 2, 2023, during Monday Night football. Lisa Presley’s death and Damar Hamlin’s collapse serve as a stark reminder that cardiac arrest can happen suddenly and without warning. It’s important for us all to understand what cardiac arrest is and how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from it.
What is Cardiac Arrest?
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. The most common cause of cardiac arrest is a condition called ventricular fibrillation, which causes the heart’s electrical signals to become chaotic and disrupts its normal rhythm. Although there are many potential causes of ventricular fibrillation, one of the most common is coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to and from the heart, reducing blood flow and causing chest pain or discomfort known as angina pectoris.
Risk Factors & Prevention
There are several risk factors associated with CAD, including smoking, high cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, family history, age (especially over 45), and male gender. To reduce your risk of developing CAD, you should follow a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise; maintain a healthy weight; quit smoking; eat a balanced diet; control your stress level; monitor your cholesterol level; avoid excessive alcohol consumption; and manage any pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In addition, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest so that you can take action quickly if necessary – these include chest pain or discomfort; nausea; lightheadedness; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue or weakness; palpitations (feeling like your heart is racing); anxiety/panic attacks; dizziness/fainting spells; sweating profusely (especially cold sweat); severe headaches/migraines with no known cause; jaw pain/clenching teeth without reason. If you experience any of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately!
Treatment & Recovery
If your aging loved one experiences a cardiac arrest they will need immediate medical attention – CPR may help but only an AED machine can actually restart the heart’s electrical activity in order for it to beat again normally. Once an AED has been used to restart their heart rhythm then further medical care may be necessary depending on the person’s medical history. Depending on how quickly treatment is received after experiencing cardiac arrest recovery time varies from person to person but generally involves strict lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking (if applicable) exercising regularly eating healthier etc…It might also involve taking medications prescribed by their doctor such as beta blockers ACE inhibitors etc…In some cases, surgery may even be required in order for them to fully recover from their experience with cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest can happen without warning but there are steps we can take to reduce our risk—and those steps start with understanding what it is and how it happens. Knowing this information could save your life—or the life of someone you love—so please take some time today to learn more about this serious condition. And remember: if you ever experience any symptoms associated with cardiac arrest don’t hesitate to seek medical help right away! It could make all the difference!
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