Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest?

In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating, and blood is not supplied to the body. The presentation is not subtle. Almost immediate loss of consciousness occurs, and the affected person will not be able to be aroused. The person will fall or slump over. No pulse will be able to be palpated, and there will be no signs of breathing.

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Comment from: Shawn, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 30

I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at work on 6/2/2013. I had absolutely no symptoms that day. I didn't feel bad or have any warning about what was to happen. I was in a room with a fellow co-worker and she heard me making snorting noises. She found me slumped over in a chair and was not breathing. She alerted some other co-workers and they found I had no pulse or respirations. Fortunately we have CPR and AED training every year at work and have AEDs installed. They immediately began CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and I needed shocking from the AED (automated external defibrillator) 3 times before the EMS (emergency medical services) arrived. Advanced life support was begun and I was shocked another 2 or 3 times in the ambulance. I was airlifted to a local hospital. I woke up 4 days later on life support with absolutely no clue what had happened. After extensive testing and taking in account of my past history, an ICD was implanted. I have since made a full recovery and have had no recurrences. I would just like to point out that I had had 4 or 5 bouts of syncope prior to having SCA and the reason was never found for it, even after having a nuclear stress test, heart echocardiogram, tilt-table test and wearing a monitor for a month! Nothing could be found because these bouts didn't happen while I was hooked up to heart monitoring equipment. I am very fortunate to be alive and thankful for that. CPR and AED saves lives!

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Comment from: Rainy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

On 9/3/2005 I stood up to get my blood pressure checked after a dialysis treatment. I don"t remember anything, but I was told I said I didn"t feel good then said "wow!" and dropped to the floor. I was given CPR and the paramedics were called. I was shocked four times before I got a heartbeat back. My husband was told to prepare for my death. I was given a 5% chance of survival. I woke up 5 days later with no memory of what happened. My potassium dropped too low while on dialysis. I already had heart issues so the drop in potassium caused the problem. I was given an implanted defibrillator and I am doing great now except for some memory problems. I even got a kidney transplant!

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