Beating the Odds: Strategies for Preventing Cardiac Arrest

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Every year, more than 3,56,000 people in the United States experience cardiac arrest, and the majority of them, that is, 60 to 80% of them, die before reaching the hospital or before professional help reaches them.

Cardiac arrest is different from heart attack. While a heart attack occurs when there is one or more blockages in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle, which reduces or completely cuts off the blood flow to a part of the heart, leading to death or damage to the heart muscle rates, Cardiac arrest is sudden.

Cardiac arrest is when there is a loss of blood flow resulting from the failure of the heart to effectively pump the blood. It’s a life-threatening medical emergency where the heart beats stop unexpectedly or beats inconsistently. Since it all happens suddenly, individuals are often unprepared to tackle this situation.

Given the large number of deaths and the fact that it can impact people of all ages, it is crucial to know what you should do in a situation when a person goes through cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of Cardiac arrest

Since it’s a life-threatening emergency, one must be aware of the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest to help the other person or even oneself. Here are a few of the symptoms that a person going through Cardiac arrest exhibits:

Loss of consciousness

Shortness of breath or gasping for air

Don’t have a pulse

Chest pain

In some cases, the person experiencing cardiac arrest may not show any symptoms and lose consciousness; hence, it is important for one to know what you should do in this situation.

Call emergency medical assistance (911).

Check if the person responds if you shake their shoulders or ask loudly.

Check for breathing, wait for 10 seconds, and feel the signs of breathing.

If the person isn’t breathing, perform CPR.

If available, use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). However, you must know how to use them. It is crucial for you to place AED pads the right way, or you can read the guide about AED Pad Placement.

Professional help is extremely necessary when someone is going through a cardiac arrest, so the first thing you do is call 911 or have someone else call them, and then you can go ahead with the listed first aid practices.

Preventing Cardiac Arrest

While cardiac arrest can strike anyone, irrespective of the age or health of the individual, there are strategies one can adopt to reduce the risk and potentially prevent this life-threatening event.

Prioritize regular physical activity.

Engaging in regular physical activities is one of the most effective ways to maintain heart health and reduce the risk of cardiac arrest. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. You can also include activities such as walking, swimming, cycling, or jogging, which can improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen the heart muscle, and lower the risk of heart disease.

Adopt a heart-healthy diet.

A balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in preventing cardiac arrest and maintaining overall heart health. Focus on consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit intake of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and refined sugars, as these can contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases.

You can also incorporate foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, trout), nuts, and seeds since these are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart rhythm disturbances.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, and diabetes, which are significant contributors to cardiac arrest. Aim to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a combination of balanced nutrition and regular exercise.

Consult your healthcare professional to determine your ideal weight and develop a personalized plan for weight loss goals.

Manage Stress Levels

Chronic stress can have an adverse impact on heart health and increase the risk of cardiac events, including cardiac arrest. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as deep[ breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation to promote relaxation and alleviate stress.

Additionally, prioritize activities that bring joy and fulfillment, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and seek support from friends, family, or mental health professionals when needed.

Avoid Tobacco and limit Alcohol Consumption.

Smoking and the use of other tobacco products significantly elevate the risk of cardiovascular diseases or cardiac arrest. In fact, quitting smoking is one of the most impactful steps individual can take to protect their heart health.

Excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to the development of heart rhythm abnormalities and, in turn, increase the risk of cardiac arrest. Limit alcohol intake to moderate levels, which is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Conclusion

In conclusion, preventing cardiac arrest requires a comprehensive approach that addresses various lifestyle features, risk factors, and medical considerations. By prioritizing regular physical activity, adopting a heart-healthy diet, managing stress levels, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of experiencing cardiac arrest and promote long-term heart health.

The post Beating the Odds: Strategies for Preventing Cardiac Arrest appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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