1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Symptoms and Treatment of Sudden Cardiac Arrest


Updated January 25, 2014

Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical condition caused by sudden stopping of the heart. Sometimes, it comes on without warning. In that case, knowing how to treat sudden cardiac arrest -- by doing CPR -- is the most important skill you can have.

But sudden cardiac arrest doesn't have to be a surprise. There are often hints that sudden cardiac arrest might be about to happen. Sudden cardiac arrest is much more common in heart attack victims than everyone else. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack is the most definitive way to avoid death by sudden cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

If you're looking at someone right now that you think might be suffering sudden cardiac arrest, call 911 and let the emergency dispatcher talk you through it. On the other hand, if you want to know how to recognize sudden cardiac arrest, these are the signs and symptoms.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Treatment

There is only one treatment for sudden cardiac arrest: CPR. This is the simplest version of CPR available.

Causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

There's cardiac arrest and then there's sudden cardiac arrest. Anything that kills you results in cardiac arrest eventually, but only a few things cause the heart to suddenly stop.

Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest

Like many people, you may have understood a heart attack to be when the heart stops pumping. That's not the case. Heart attacks have to do with damage to heart tissue while cardiac arrest has to do with the heart not beating.
Related Video
How to Perform Hands-Only CPR
How to Do the Heimlich Maneuver
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. First Aid

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.