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Sudden Cardiac Death -- SCD

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Sudden cardiac death (SCD)is a condition where the heart stops abruptly, referred to as cardiac arrest. The victim may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. The time and mode of death are unexpected. It can occur within minutes after symptoms appear, or there may be no symptoms before collapse. The most common underlying reason that patients die suddenly from cardiac arrest is coronary heart disease.

Ischemic heart disease refers to heart problems caused by narrowed arteries. When arteries are narrowed, less blood and oxygen reaches the heart. This is also called coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease. This can lead to heart attack. Ischemia often causes chest pain or discomfort (angina pectoris).

What causes sudden cardiac death?

Most known heart diseases can lead to cardiac arrest and SCD. Most cases of cardiac arrest that lead to SCD occur when the heart’s electrical impulses become rapid, called ventricular tachycardia and then chaotic venticular fibrillation or VF. This irregular heart rhythm causes the heart to suddenly stop pumping blood. A small number of cardiac arrests are caused by extreme slowing of the heart, called bradycardia.

The differences of sudden cardiac death and heart attack

Other causes of cardiac arrest include respiratory arrest, electrocution, drowning, choking and trauma. This terrible event can also occur without any know cause.
The term massive heart attack is often mistakenly used to describe sudden cardiac death. The term “Heart Attack” or “Myocardial Infarction” refer to death of heart muscle tissue due to loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in cardiac arrest or the death of the heart attack victim. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest and SCD, but the terms are not synonymous.

Most heart attack victims do not develop cardiac arrest. However, because cardiac arrest may complicate a heart attack, anyone with heart attack warning signs should seek medical assistance immediately. As the name implies sudden cardiac death doesn’t forgive.

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