Patient Comments: Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Experience

What was your experience with sudden cardiac arrest?

Comment from: Arlene, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 07

My mother passed away from cardiac arrest on Oct 28,2013 inside a store which had no defibrillator and employees with no CPR training.

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Comment from: Healthconscious, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 08

I lost my husband, age 36, nine months ago to sudden cardiac death. The coroner refused to do an autopsy so we have no idea what caused it. My husband did smoke, but was a "social smoker." He had no history of high blood pressure other than the high blood pressure readings he would get if he went to the hospital. He had no symptoms of heart disease and was, in general, a healthy man. Now we just need to ensure our twins are checked frequently for heart problems to make any early diagnoses.

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Comment from: (Patient) Published: March 07

I'm a female 63 years old, I took an antacid for indigestion and must have felt something was wrong , cause my husband said I went to him and said call 911 I'm having an allergic reaction to the meds. I'm allergic to an antibiotic so I knew the signs, he called 911 and when he felt they weren't going to get there in time he ran across the street to our neighbor for her epipen, she ran following him, I was laying out front on the lawn, they shot me with the epipen but then I went into cardiac arrest, our neighbor was a paramedic who immediately started CPR till the paramedics got there. I died several times on the way to the hospital, my lung collapsed & when they arrived my heart was stopped, they told my husband they would do everything to bring me back. I woke up 10 days later in ICU on a respirator and then spent quite some more time in the hospital. When I got home a nurse came 3 days a week, also a PT came 4 days a week for a long, long time. I am very blessed to be alive but this was no easy recovery, I got a cracked rib and 2 broken bones in my back from the CPR & the pain lasted for month and I had to wear a metal brace. Thankfully the only lasting problem is my memory and I can live with that. I'm sorry for anyone who lost a love one.

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Comment from: Georgiana Emereole, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 07

My experience is that the chances of survival is dicey, depending how quickly the person is attended to. Routine check of the heart is necessary when you experience chest pain. For some exercises people should know the state of their heart before indulging into such. People should be mindful of what to eat. Avoid being obese.

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Comment from: mama_of_2, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 27

I had a sudden cardiac arrest a few years ago, and I was clinically dead for 13 minutes. They told my family that I would be a vegetable. I was in an induced coma for six days and in the hospital for a little under a month. I had a 3-month-old daughter. I was 17 years old. I am not happily married to the man who woke up next to his dead fiancée. We have two beautiful children. I am so grateful to be alive despite the hardships that I have faced since. I had an ICD implanted in 2007, and I have had three surgeries on it because of "malfunctions." The first one, my pacing lead disconnected from my heart and was pacing my stomach so it looked as if I had the hiccups at all times. The second time, I was shocked eight times in 45 minutes, so they had to replace a wire because it was a faulty lead therefore I did not need the shocks; it was double-counting my heart rate. The third and last time, when they had replaced the wire they gave too much "slack," which needs to be there so when you move, the leads don't rip out of your heart causing multiple blood clots to travel through an artery that the wire was pressing on and into my lungs. Ever since the multiple shocks, I have yet to find a doctor that is able to fix what they did to me. The multiple shocks caused my chest wall muscles to contract and they have yet to decompress three years later. No one can figure out how. Needless to say, I am happy to have lived, to get married and have another child, but I am devastated to have to tell my daughter I cannot play because "I have a headache" a.k.a. my chest pain is too severe.

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Comment from: 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 02

The most traumatic incident in my life was the death of my beloved sister at the age of 37. She had symptoms of chest discomfort on the day but EKG examination by her GP did not reveal any abnormality. There were no 'typical' symptoms of heart disease. So she was advised to go home and take a rest. That night my sister had a cardiac arrest and nobody could revive her. Autopsy was negative except for narrowing of right coronary artery ostium and lumen but no signs of Myocardial Infarction. It is assumed that she died of VF, pulmonary edema and brain anoxia. She had no previous history of heart disease and she was healthy and active always. The only clue I have now is that she had h/o hypertension during her pregnancy but became normotensive after delivery. She had an episode of herpes zoster (shingles) infection during her first pregnancy. She did not have any screening tests before as she was a young, active, non smoker and was not diabetic. Being a doctor I just can't forgive myself for not preventing her death. (I was not with her and the news of her death was the most shocking incident in my life).

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