Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Instructive Insights for You


What is a sudden cardiac arrest? Is sudden cardiac arrest fatal? How can I know it is cardiac arrest, and what should I do when in the situation? Get answers to many of your questions on cardiac arrest in these instructive insights.

Read on to find out more about sudden cardiac arrest.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Overview

The heart disease that can suddenly stop your heart from beating and pumping blood without a prior diagnosis is a cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is a fatal heart disease that requires emergency medical care. Failing to have immediate attention can lead to sudden death.

The cardiac arrest takes the most significant fatality share of all heart diseases. The statistics of cardiac arrest outside hospitals stand at 350,000 people annually in the US alone. The estimated statistics of annual in-hospital cases in the US are 292,000. That's a staggering figure!!

The survival rate of cardiac arrest worldwide stands at 1%, while in the US, it is about 5%. The worldwide survival rate is lower than in the US. One of the reasons for a global higher percentage fatality rate might be a lack of emergency facilities. Most of the developing countries are yet to have enough rescue services.

Is Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack the same?

No, cardiac arrest and heart attack are two different diseases under the heart disease umbrella. The only common factor with the two conditions are some of the symptoms.

A heart attack occurs due to plaque buildup in the coronary arteries. The plaque or blood clot blocks oxygenated blood to the heart. Lack of oxygenated blood in the heart can damage the heart muscle.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac relates to the heart. Cardiac arrest then is 'arrest of the heart,' which means the sudden stop of the heartbeat.

Electrical impulses in the heart muscle control your heartbeat. Any abnormality in the electrical impulse can disrupt the heartbeat rhythm to become either rapid or slow.

The irregular heartbeat rhythm is a heart condition known as arrhythmia. In severe electrical impulse abnormality, the rhythm can entirely disrupt the performance of the heart. All your body organs, and mainly the brain, would have insufficient oxygenated blood. If the heart stops to function altogether, it can lead to a lack of breathing and sometimes unconsciousness. 

What Causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Arrhythmia - The electrical impulses that control the heartbeat become abnormal and change the rhythm. The irregular rhythm is known as arrhythmia. One of the common arrhythmia that causes cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation or the lower heart chamber (ventricle).

The abnormal electrical impulses can erratically shake the ventricles due to irregular rhythm which can then affect the heart muscles from pumping blood. The dysfunction of the heart muscles can lead to a cardiac arrest due to insufficient blood circulation.

Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome – WPW is a rare disease of the heart that can predispose you to persistent arrhythmias incidences. WPW can manifest to cardiac arrest due to frequent irregular heartbeat.

Coronary artery disease – Your arteries can build up plaque from cholesterol deposits. The buildup can then continue to grow as cholesterol increases to later block the artery completely. The blocked artery then cuts blood supply to the heart. The result is lack of oxygenated blood to the heart and hence, a cardiac arrest.

Heart attack – Some of the after-effects of a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. A damaged heart muscle from heart attack heals by leaving a scarring tissue. It can then advance to ventricular fibrillation, which is the main cause of a sudden cardiac arrest.

High blood pressure – Another cause of heart muscle damage that can lead to cardiac arrest is high blood pressure. The blood exerts pressure while moving through a plaque-filled narrow artery. Cholesterol buildup forms the plaque that collects inside the walls of the arteries. A severe HBP can lead to arrhythmia, which then can cause a sudden cardiac arrest.

Heart failure – A previous heart failure leaves behind a delicate heart and hence, weak heartbeats. Just like many of the other heart diseases, heart failure can lead to arrhythmia. The ventricular arrhythmia in a heart failure can cause cardiac arrest due to the dysfunction of the weak heart muscles.

Heart valve disease – Heart valve disease can thicken the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy). A damaged thick heart muscle deteriorates to stop pumping the blood. The condition then trickle down to cause sudden cardiac arrest.

Medication – The use of some medicines can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. High usage of some arrhythmia medicines, diuretics, magnesium, and potassium can all lead to cardiac arrest.

Illegal drugs – Some common unlawful drugs such as cocaine, ethanol, and others can adversely weaken the heart leading to cardiac arrest.

Abnormalities in the blood vessel – A blood clot that can block one of the blood vessels can irritate the heart muscle leading to ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation is a high-risk factor of a cardiac arrest.

Cardiac Arrest Symptoms

Cardiac arrest is a severe condition that can hit you suddenly without any sign or symptom. On rare occasions, the disease can reveal some early signs.

About one hour before the cardiac arrest, you can experience some early symptoms. Some of the symptoms can include:

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat or irregular rhythm
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Vomit
  • Wheezing

The immediate signs of a sudden cardiac arrest include:

  • Sudden collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Not breathing
  • No pulse

Cardiac Arrest Rescue Techniques

Warning: Sudden cardiac arrest can happen without any warning or sign. Time is of great essence when dealing with cardiac arrest. During a cardiac arrest, the heart may stop beating, making it a highly emergency.

Within minutes of a cardiac arrest, the patient is at risk of permanent brain damage or death. Such can happen due to a lack of oxygenated blood to the brain.

Call 911 or see your doctor urgently when you witness cardiac arrest signs and symptoms.

While waiting for EMS (emergency medical services), you can aid the patient by performing the following rescue techniques:

Perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) – Check whether the person is breathing correctly. Perform CPR if there is no breathing, or if the breath is faint.

How do you perform CPR if you are not trained? You do it this way…

Push on the person's chest harder and quickly at the rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

If you have CPR basic training, then you know what to do. But, to remind you, give one 'rescue breathe' for every thirty compressions. The CPR procedure can help to resuscitate or revive the patient's breathing while waiting for emergency medical services (EMS).

If you have not trained and you would like to learn how to do it, watch this YouTube on CPR basic instructions. You never know when next you may need to exercise the knowledge and save a life.

You can save brain damage or even death with this simple and yet timely and relevant life-saving procedures.

Did you know when your heart stops, your brain can only last for approximately six minutes? Lack of oxygenated blood in the brain for only more than six minutes can lead to brain damage, vegetative state, and eventually death.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Treatment

The initial and crucial cardiac arrest treatment is CPR. Following the laid down CPR procedures, you can save a life and prevent critical health effects from the disease.

Your doctor is exclusively responsible for choosing the kind of treatment suitable for your cardiac arrest case. Treating sudden cardiac arrest can vary with what has caused heart disease and its severity. Other conditions your doctor may consider when treating cardiac arrest is your age.

How to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Your cardiac arrest treatment ensues at prevention. You don't have to enter into cardiac arrest just because of another heart condition. You can remain healthy by observing the following sudden cardiac arrest preventive measures:

  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Regular exercises
  • Eating a healthy diet free of fats and high cholesterol
  • Maintain a healthy body weight according to BMI (body mass index) calculations.
  • Regular health check-ups
  • Quit or avoid smoking directly or passively
  • Take alcohol moderately which has less alcohol content
  • Learn to manage stress


A cardiac arrest is a critical heart disease. The fatality rate of cardiac arrest is higher than any other heart disease. Besides the high risk of death, a cardiac arrest can also damage your brain. Most patients who have survived a cardiac arrest are either left with some level of impaired brain or in a vegetative state.

Cardiac Arrest Heart Disease Complementary and Alternative Therapy

There are various alternative treatments for heart health issues. However, you may require consulting your health practitioner for the best therapy and advice. The following are some of the recommendations from our natural health practitioner, Yvonne Dollar Perc.

DNA Testing

We do DNA health testing, which could help detect this potential and many others. If you are concerned that you might have the possibility, then give us a call, and we can set up a DNA health assessment test. There are 2 Genes involved in promoting heart health. The Gene MTRR and the ApoB are critical factors in Heart Health, especially with fatty and cholesterol deposits.

Key Genes: ApoB  (Healthy LDL Cholesterol Gene or ApoBrs693)


The ApoB gene helps support a healthy heart by maintaining healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range. ApoB Gene Regulates ApoB, the main component of LDL. Without ApoB, LDL cannot form. LDL levels in the Healthy range are associated with good Cardiovascular Health.

Key Genes: MTRR

Homocysteine/Healthy Heart Gene or MTRR rs1801394


The MTRR gene encodes for the MTRR enzyme, which specifically supports cardiovascular health by regulating homocysteine levels.

Live Blood Testing

We do Live Blood Analysis and look at dry blood samples specifically.

Blistering: Observed in Layer(s)

A localized area in the sample that appears raised/bulging. This pattern is connected to cardiovascular health challenges, including circulation problems, stress on the heart, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, narrowing of blood vessels, etc. We can also see crystals in the blood plasma.

Cholesterol: Crystals

Observed in Bright and Dark Field Assessment:

Large, trapezoidal structures that are semi-opaque. These crystals may cause circulatory hindrances and may be associated with high serum cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and possible high saturated fat intake. 

Blistering and cholesterol crystals.

The following are our recommendations for a healthy heart.

Passion Flower, 100 CapsPassion flower is well known for its support to the nervous system. In traditional herbal medicine, passion flower is widely recommended for its gentle tranquilizing sedative properties when one cannot find rest due to mental stress. It is one of nature's best sedatives.

Hawthorn, 100 CapsulesTraditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help maintain and support cardiovascular health.

Rejuvenaid, 30 PacketsRejuvenaid is a dual-pathway Nitric Oxide (NO) Generator for vasodilation and cardiovascular health.


Take the necessary precautions to avoid risking a cardiac arrest. Strictly, follow-up with your health check-up and especially for your heart health.

The initial step to a healthy heart is to establish your blood circulation system. How your circulatory system is operating can tell more about your heart health. You can quickly obtain fast and accurate information about your circulatory system and heart health using modern technology.

At Island HealthWorks, we use the newest technology fit for various body systems. For instance, we use a Zyto scan to study your body systems processes. It is a painless procedure that can only take 3 minutes to get biofeedback of your entire body systems. In case of any health anomaly, we notify you immediately.

A Zyto scan is one of the many modern natural technologies we use in our clinic. Do you want to know more about us? Visit us at Island HealthWorks for more information.

We can customize a unique natural health program to restore your health. You are just a click or call away to your heart health. Click here or book your appointment with our Natural Health Practitioner, Yvonne Dollard Perc, for all your natural health needs and products.

You can also reach us on +250.468.7685 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Share with us your thoughts about a sudden cardiac arrest and your experience, if any. Care to share so that we can learn more from you. Write your comments on the section below. 

Elizabeth Njuguna is a freelance writer, with a focus on natural health. Her aim is to promote healthy lifestyles through information. Connect with Elizabeth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Editor: Yvonne Dollard Perc
Research Assistant: Elizabeth Njuguna

Designer: Sherry Robb 

Island Healthworks offers in-person and virtual consultations for assessment of your specific needs, with health & lifestyle coaching, featuring the best of integrative natural health care. To book your consultation, please call 250-468-7685!

This article is intended for educational purposes and the information contained within is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem. Please seek appropriate medical attention for any health complaints. We cannot take responsibility for your health care decisions. Our intent is only to offer health information to help you with your search for better health. 

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Wednesday, 20 October 2021