The terms cardiac arrest and heart attack are often interchanged, however they are in fact different – with a heart attack, the heart continues to beat but there is a block in blood flow to the heart muscle. If this is left untreated, this can result in cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is caused by an arrhythmia, whereby the heart’s rhythm is not functioning as it should. In any cardiac arrest, early access to an AED (defibrillator) is the key to survival. If you are looking for a defibrillator for sale, Safety Dave has your needs covered. We stock a large range of high quality safety and first aid products to keep Australians safe in their homes or at work. Here we will look at the risk factors for sudden cardiac arrest and a few changes you can make to significantly lower your risk.
What is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
A life-threatening medical emergency, sudden cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating suddenly, with no warning. The cause of cardiac arrest is when the heart’s electrical conduction system fails and can no longer send signals to the heart to keep it beating in a way that allows for the effective pumping of blood. Treatment within a few minutes with a defibrillator is essential to save the life of someone experiencing it.
What Are the Risk Factors for Cardiac Arrest?
There are multiple factors that can increase the risk of developing cardiac arrest. These include:
- Heart disease including coronary artery disease
- Abnormal heart conditions such as an enlarged heart or heart defect
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight or obese
- Sedentary behaviour
- Previous heart attack
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Nutritional deficiencies such as low potassium or magnesium
A person with a healthy heart with no heart disease or other heart condition is unlikely to have a serious arrhythmia leading to cardiac arrest without a direct cause, such as a drug overdose.
Lowering Your Risk of Cardiac Arrest
The key to cardiac arrest prevention is to minimize the build-up of plaque in your arteries, and keep blood flowing smoothly through your body. The best ways to do this are by:
- Partaking in regular physical exercise – at least half an hour, 5 days per week
- Maintaining a healthy weight – eating a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, and low in unhealthy fat, sugar and salt
- Quit smoking – smokers are much more likely to develop plaque in the coronary arteries
- Controlling medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure with lifestyle changes and/or medication
- Managing stress levels with meditation or other relaxation techniques
Depending on your age, general health and risk factors, your doctor may also recommend other medication that can also help with cardiac arrest prevention.
There are some risk factors are beyond our control such as getting older and having a family history of heart attacks, however, making small lifestyle changes to ensure you are in optimal health will go a long way to significantly reduce the likelihood of suffering a cardiac arrest.
What to Do in the Event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest happens without warning. A person suffering one will collapse suddenly and lose consciousness. They will not breathe and they will not have a pulse. If you are with someone you think may be experiencing cardiac arrest, call 000 and perform CPR to try and restore a heartbeat until help arrives. Look for a portable AED (defibrillator) – this will restart the person’s heart with an electric shock and this is the key to saving the person’s life.
While some people are more at risk than others, sudden cardiac arrest can affect anyone, at any age, anywhere, at any time. The only way to ensure survival is early treatment with an AED (defibrillator). Purchasing a defibrillator for sale is a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing that you can save a life if or when someone you know suffers a cardiac arrest. Shop Safety Dave’s range online now, or get in touch with our team on 1800 072 338 for more information on any of our first aid products or other safety equipment.