Cardiac Arrest Overview
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.
What are the symptoms of cardiac arrest?
In some cases of cardiac arrest, there may be no symptoms at all. You may experience these symptoms prior to cardiac arrest:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations (fast or pounding heartbeat)
- Loss of consciousness
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.
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