Cardiac arrest

Category: Illness or disabilities



Introduction and description

Cardiac arrest is the cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the heart to contract effectively.  A cardiac arrest is different from (but may be caused by) a heart attack, where blood flow to the muscle of the heart is impaired.  Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest.  Approximately 60–70% is related to coronary heart disease.  Based on death certificates, sudden cardiac death accounts for about 15% of all deaths in Western countries.   The lifetime risk is three times greater in men (12.3%) than women (4.2%) based on analysis of the Framingham Heart Study. However this gender difference disappears beyond 85 years of age.

When the person suffers a cardiac arrest there is not only an an abrupt cessation of pump function in the heart, but an absence of a palpable pulse, furthermore, not long afterwards, the person will stop breathing. The main diagnostic criterion doctors use to diagnose a cardiac arrest, as opposed to respiratory arrest which shares some of the symptoms, is lack of circulation.

How it works

For all details of the causes of cardiac arrest and how spiritual experience is gained see Heart failure and coronary heart disease.


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