Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Experience

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What was your experience with sudden cardiac arrest?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black square:

Introduction to sudden cardiac arrest

A natural disaster hits, the power goes off and the lights go out. It's a common scene that plays out during hurricane and tornado seasons, and it's very similar in trying to explain sudden cardiac arrest. The heart sustains an insult, the electricity is short circuited, the heart can't pump, and the body dies.

The heart is an electrical pump, where the electricity is generated in special pacemaker cells in the upper chamber, or atrium, of the heart. This electrical spark is carried through pathways in the heart so that all the muscle cells contract at once and produce a heart beat. This pumps blood through the heart valves and into all the organs of the body so that they can do their work.

This mechanism can break down in a variety of ways, but the final pathway in sudden death is the same: the electrical system is irritated and fails to produce electrical activity that causes the heart to beat. The heart muscle can't supply blood to the body, particularly the brain, and the body dies. Ventricular fibrillation (V Fib) is the most common reason for sudden death in patients. Without a coordinated electrical signal, the bottom chambers of the heart (ventricles) stop beating and instead, jiggle like Jello. Ventricular Fibrillation is treated with electrical shock, but for it to be effective, the shock usually needs to happen within less than four to six minutes, not only for it to be effective, but also to minimize brain damage from lack of blood and oxygen supply. Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are commonly available in public places to allow almost anybody to treat sudden death. Less commonly, the heart can just stop beating. The absence of a heart beat is known as asystole (asystole: a=no + systole=beat).

Return to Sudden Cardiac Arrest

See what others are saying

Comment from: 6454miller, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 23

My dad is 56 years old. He suffered from hepatitis C and five days ago went into cardiac arrest. He died and they brought him back and I have got mixed information on if he went an extended time with no oxygen to his brain or not. His ammonia levels were almost at 1000 when admitted to the hospital and the doctor said there was no chance he'd live more than a day or two. Here we are at day five, he's still on life support and respirator but continues to get better as far as his vitals and ammonia levels go. I refuse to let them take him off respirator, I have faith he will wake up soon.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: skynurse, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I experienced a SCA (sudden cardiac arrest) on 4/29/13. I was relaxing on my bed and became very anxious and short of breath. My son was in his room and all I remember is saying to him "911". Five days later I came off the ventilator and was brought out of the deep sleep they kept me in. I continue to struggle with depression and the fear of it happening again. My saving grace was my son being home and immediately starting CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). As a nurse and SCA survivor, I can"t stress the importance of everyone learning CPR.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!