Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have been diagnosed with heart disease. It can come on suddenly or in the wake of other symptoms. Cardiac arrest is often fatal if appropriate steps aren’t taken immediately.

More than 356,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital in the U.S. each year.

Is a heart attack the same as cardiac arrest?

No. The term “heart attack” is often mistakenly used to describe cardiac arrest. While a heart attack may cause cardiac arrest, the two aren't the same.

Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply. It's a “circulation” problem. A heart attack is quite serious and sometimes fatal.

By contrast, cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. The heart stops beating properly. The heart’s pumping function is “arrested,” or stopped.

In cardiac arrest, death can result quickly if proper steps aren’t taken immediately. Cardiac arrest may be reversed if CPR is performed and a defibrillator shocks the heart and restores a normal heart rhythm within a few minutes.

Cardiac arrest may be caused by irregular heart rhythms called arrhythmias. A common arrhythmia associated with cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the heart’s lower chambers suddenly start beating chaotically and don’t pump blood.           (American Heart Assoc.)


What is cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest, also known as sudden cardiac arrest, is when the heart stops beating suddenly. The lack of blood flow to the brain and other organs can cause a person to lose consciousness, become disabled or die if not treated immediately.

If a loved one experiences symptoms of cardiac arrest, call 911 immediately. Many states require an automated external defibrillator (AED) to be available in public spaces. If you have access to an AED, follow the directions on the device to administer support until medical help has arrived.

Johns Hopkins cardiologist and ventricular arrhythmia expert Jonathan Chrispin, M.D., explains symptoms, causes and treatments of cardiac arrest.

What are the symptoms of cardiac arrest?


Shortness of breath Nausea
Chest pain

Heart palpitations             (fast or pounding heart beat)
Loss of consciousness

In some cases of cardiac arrest, there may be no symptoms at all. You may experience these symptoms prior to cardiac arrest:

Symptoms of cardiac arrest can be life-threatening.

Call 911 or go to the ER: If you have heart problems such as chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath or sudden numbness, get help immediately. '

What causes cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest can be caused by a heart condition, or it can occur unexpectedly. However, there are three main causes of cardiac arrest: Arrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation: Arrhythmia occurs when electrical signals in the heart are the problem leading to an abnormal heartbeat. Ventricular fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia and is the most common cause of cardiac arrest. Ventricular fibrillation is a rapid heartbeat in the heart’s ventricle, which causes the heart to tremble instead of normally pumping blood. Enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy): The heart muscle dilates or thickens, leading to abnormal contractions of the heart. Coronary artery disease: This type of heart disease occurs when the coronary arteries are narrowed and thickened by blockages of plaque, which restricts the flow of blood to the heart. If left untreated, coronary artery disease can lead to heart failure or arrhythmias, which both can lead to cardiac arrest. Other causes of cardiac arrest may include: Blood loss Valvular heart disease Lack of oxygen High levels of potassium and magnesium (can cause arrhythmia)
Am I at risk for cardiac arrest?

Several lifestyle and hereditary factors may increase the risk of cardiac arrest. They include the following: Alcohol or drug abuse Family history of heart disease or cardiac arrest Heart disease High blood pressure High cholesterol Low potassium or magnesium (nutritional deficiency) Obesity Smoking Some people may experience cardiac arrest with no risk factors at all. Cardiac arrest is more common in older men than women.

(Johns Hopkins Medicine)



Note: See Article Links Below Videos

We are seeing an unprecedented number of young athletes and others who are having cardiac arrest, blood clots, strokes, seizures, and other cardio-vascular events that results in death for some of those individuals.

What is causing these tragic events? 


Young cardiac arrest survivor spreads life-saving CPR message 2/6/2023

Former NFL Linebacker Jessie Lemonier Dead at 25 | PEOPLE 1/27/2023

Lisa Marie Presley dead at 54 after cardiac arrest | LiveNOW from FOX 1/12/2023
Air Force football player dies at age 21 after ‘medical emergency’ 1/11/2023

School officials: Western Brown HS student dies after suffering cardiac arrest activity 1/10/2023

COVID-19 and cardiac arrest connected? 1/9/2023
Dr. Peter McCullough Responds To Latest News Regarding Damar Hamlin’s Cardiac Event During the Bengals/Bills Football Game 1/6/2023

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Damar Hamlin: North Texas paramedic discusses causes of cardiac arrest 1/3/2023

FIU football team mourns sudden death of 22-year-old linebacker 8/19/2022

Ewing Township boy, 5, fighting for his life after cardiac arrest 5/24/2022

Suburban man having heart attack saved by quick-thinking gym patrons 3/17/2022

Links to Other Articles About Cardiac Arrest Incidents

14-Year-Old Illinois HS Basketball Player Dies Suddenly After Collapsing During Game 1/29/2024

Pilot Deaths: 33-year-old US Air Force Staff Sergeant,
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Fitness Influencer Larissa Borges, 33, Dies After Double Cardiac Arrest 8/30/2023

Report: WWE Championship Wrestler Bray Wyatt, 36, Dead from Heart Attack 8/29/2023

REPORT: Basketball Player Who Blamed Covid Vax for Heart Condition Dies of Heart Attack at 28 6/25/2023

Former NHL Player Raymond Sawada Dies of a Heart Attack at 38 4/12/2023

NC Woman Performs CPR, Defibrillates 17-Year-Old Daughter Who Suffered Unexplained Cardiac Arrest 3/15/2023

A 14-year-old thought she had 'butterflies' from dancing with a boy at winter formal. It was a heart attack. 2/7/2023

21-Year-Old Police Cadet Drops Dead After Showing Zero Signs of Sickness 1/26/2023

COVID-19 Vaccines Can Cause Sudden Cardiac Deaths: Warns Expert, Calls For Its Withdrawal From Market 1/10/2023