Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction is probably one of the largest causes of natural death in the world today. This kind of heart failure is known to occur most commonly in adults; people who are in the age group of 35-45 years. This condition is seen twice as much in males than females. This dysfunction of the heart leads to the abrupt stoppage of the heart functions, loss of breathing, and unconsciousness. It can lead to death if not treated immediately. So, let’s take a closer look at it-

What is Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction?

Most of you might mistake Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction (SCD) to be a scientific medical term for heart attack. But in reality, they are two completely different heart conditions. Heart Attack or ‘Myocardial Infarction’ takes place when there is a blockage in any one of the coronary arteries, preventing the heart from getting a sufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood. On the other hand, Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction occurs when there is a malfunction in the electrical system of the heart. This causes the heart to beat dangerously and extremely fast. As a result, the ventricles start to quiver – a condition known as ‘ventricular fibrillation’. The first few minutes are very crucial as the blood flow to the brain gets cut down drastically and the person loses consciousness, which can ultimately result in death.

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction

In many cases, Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction takes place without any prior symptoms or signs. But sometimes, drastic symptoms can be seen. These include-

• Dizziness
• Shortness of breath
• Palpitations
• Sudden collapse
• No pulse
• Losing consciousness
• Weakness
• Rapid heartbeat

Causes of Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction

The most common cause of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is an abnormal heart rhythm better known as arrhythmia. The electrical system of the heart is responsible for controlling the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. If something goes wrong with it, your heart starts beating fast and in irregular rhythms. Most of the arrhythmias are harmless. But if it happens in the lower chamber of the heart or the ventricles, it leads to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. These racing, erratic electrical impulses cause ventricular fibrillation, and the heart is unable to pump blood anymore. Consequently, if left untreated, death occurs within minutes. Following are some heart conditions, which can lead to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest:

1. Coronary Artery Disease: Most people who develop SCD are found to be patients of coronary artery disease. This is a medical condition where the arteries of the heart become clogged with deposits such as cholesterol, thus, decreasing the blood flow to the heart.

2. Enlarged Heart: This condition also known as cardiomyopathy occurs originally when the heart’s muscular walls abnormally stretch and thicken.

3. Congenital Disease: SCD in children or young adults happens mostly due to a heart disease that has been there since birth (congenital). Adults who have undergone corrective surgeries for their congenital heart diseases are also at a higher risk of Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction.

4. Heart Attack: Heart attacks trigger ventricular fibrillation, and consequently lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Heart attacks also leave behind scar tissues in the heart, which can lead to abnormalities in heart rhythm.

5. Electrical System Issues: In certain cases, the problem lies in the heart’s electrical system alone, which is known as primary heart rhythm abnormalities. These refer to medical conditions such as long QT syndrome as well as Brugada’s syndrome.

Risk factors of Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction

There are certain factors that can increase a person’s risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and consequent death. These include:

• Obesity
• Smoking
• Family history of coronary artery disease
• Diabetes
• High cholesterol
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Chronic kidney disease
• High blood pressure

Emergency treatment for Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction

In case of Sudden Cardiac Dysfunction, firstly, you should connect with the nearby hospital on call and then do the following-
Emergency treatment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)-CPR is a manual process of repetitive chest pressing and breathing into the mouth of the patient which helps supply oxygen to their lungs and brain.
Defibrillation– Defibrillation is restoring the normal rhythm of the heart by giving electric shock on the chest of the patient.

The survival of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is as high as 90% if the above measures are taken in the first few minutes.

Now that you know all about SCD and the crucial role of time in it, you can educate your friends and family about the condition, and help save precious lives. You can also put in efforts to reduce your own risk of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest by adopting a healthy lifestyle, getting screened for heart conditions regularly, and visiting heart surgeon on a regular basis.

To know more about the “Heart Disease Symptoms and Treatment”, watch the below-mentioned video by Dr. Bhabha Nanda Das, from Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

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victory debbie

I’m so very happy to share this great testimony about my sister who diagnosed cardiac disease since 2019 , which make me and family feel so sad about her health, my father took her to England for medication , during the treatment process , I got into the internet and start searching online about remedies for cardiac disease , I met so many testimonial about Dr. Christ how he cure heart pain with herbal medicine, I told my family about all the testimony I met in the internet, my family agreed with me to give a trial and I collected… Read more »