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Cardiac Arrest; Warning Signs and Signals


Posted on Nov 21, 2013

Most people are unaware of the fact that heart attacks and cardiac arrest are actually more common in the winter season than the summer season- and the winter is now upon us. Colder temperatures in the winter cause our blood to thicken making it more difficult for blood to run through our arteries. In the summer we are at an advantage because the warmer temperatures cause our blood to thin making it easier for blood to flow through arteries. But there is good news, now there are signs to look for that can let us know when we might be in danger of going into cardiac arrest.

CBS news reports on the signs of going into cardiac arrest.

Many people who go into cardiac arrest are often shocked because they say they had a visit to their physician recently. But often, even physicians are unable to detect when a cardiac arrest incident might be in the works. Researchers are warning people who might be at risk to watch out for the signs and remain proactive.

There are numerous signs that can warn you of when a cardiac arrest situation might be in the works.

“A study of 567 middle-aged men between ages 35 and 65 that had out-of-hospital cardiac arrests found that 53 percent had symptoms up to a month before their heart stopped beating. Almost 80 percent had symptoms between four weeks and 1 hour before the event occurred. Fifty-six percent of the men had chest pain, 13 percent had shortness of breath and 4 percent had dizziness, fainting or palpitations,” according to CBS.

One doctor told CBS, "The lesson is, if you have these kinds of symptoms, please don't blow them off. Go see your healthcare provider. Don't waste time." Another cardiologist told CBS, “Many people don't follow these recommendations and they delay. Their health may really be at stake."

The American Heart Association issued statistics that are in line with these suggestions. The AMA reports, “About 360,000 people each year in the U.S. experience an out-of-hospital sudden loss of heart function, otherwise known as a cardiac arrest. It is not to be confused with a heart attack, which is when a blockage causes blood to stop flowing to the heart. Instead, during a cardiac arrest, the electrical system that runs the heart stops working. This can be caused by irregular heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias. People can die if their heart stops beating for an extended period of time, but cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a defibrillator can reverse the effects if done within a few minutes from the event.”

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Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer