Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It was 5PM and I was getting ready to go Home. This patient Kuppuswamy,aged 57 years, a chronic diabetic with a chronic diabetic ulcer in the foot (two toes already amputated) got admitted in my floor. I went to his room to do a preliminary check up. he was talking to me well, but as I was about to leave the room, he suddenly fell unconscious and stopped breathing. Well, I did revive him and sent him to the I.C.U.

what is a crdiac arrest?

Know the warning signs of cardiac arrest. During cardiac arrest a victim loses consciousness, stops normal breathing and loses pulse and blood pressure.

Give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help keep the cardiac arrest victim alive until emergency help arrives. CPR keeps blood and oxygen flowing to the heart and brain until defibrillation can be administered.
What is cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest is the sudden, abrupt loss of heart function. The victim may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. It's also called sudden cardiac arrest or unexpected cardiac arrest. Sudden death (also called sudden cardiac death) occurs within minutes after symptoms appear.
What causes cardiac arrest?
The most common underlying reason for patients to die suddenly from cardiac arrest is coronary heart disease. Most cardiac arrests that lead to sudden death occur when the electrical impulses in the diseased heart become rapid (ventricular tachycardia) or chaotic (ventricular fibrillation) or both. This irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. Some cardiac arrests are due to extreme slowing of the heart. This is called bradycardia.
Other factors besides heart disease and heart attack can cause cardiac arrest. They include respiratory arrest, electrocution, drowning, choking and trauma. Cardiac arrest can also occur without any known cause.
Can cardiac arrest be reversed?
Brain death and permanent death start to occur in just 4 to 6 minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest can be reversed if it's treated within a few minutes with an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat. This process is called defibrillation. A victim's chances of survival are reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute that passes without defibrillation. Few attempts at resuscitation succeed after 10 minutes.
A diabetic has to be very careful as they always go into silent heart attack.

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