Sudden cardiac arrest: Know your risks and symptoms

spectrum health sudden cardiac arrest


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 300,000 people each year. SCA happens suddenly and, in most cases, is deadly. Dr. Andre Gauri, a board certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist from Spectrum Health joined eightWest in studio to answer some tough questions. Check out the video for more information on this important topic.

What is the difference between SCA and a heart attack?

SCA is an electrical problem, whereby the arrhythmia prevents the heart from pumping blood to the brain and vital organs. There is an immediate cessation of the heart. In most cases, there are no warning signs or symptoms. A heart attack is a “plumbing” problem caused by one or more blockages in the heart’s blood vessels, preventing proper flow, and the heart muscle dies.

Am I at risk for SCA?

SCA can strike persons of any age, gender, race, and even those who seem in good health. Risk factors include:

  • History of early heart disease, heart attack or cardiac death in the family
  • Unexplained fainting or near fainting or palpitations
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath or fainting with exertion (such as during sports)
  • Previously diagnosed heart failure or heart attack
  • Cardiac risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, or high cholesterol

If someone has any of the following risk factors or symptoms, they should discuss with a doctor whether further heart testing and/or evaluation by an electrophysiologist or cardiologist is necessary.

So, what are the symptoms of SCA?

  • Sudden cardiac arrest symptoms are immediate and drastic
  • Sudden collapse
  • No pulse
  • No breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

For further information, referrals or appointments, please call 616.885.5000.

www.shmg.org
SHMG Cardiovascular Services
2900 Bradford St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525