What are cardiac emergencies and how do you handle them?

October 13, 2020

What are cardiac emergencies and how do you handle them?
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What are cardiac emergencies and how do you handle them?

Heart problems can be chronic or acute. They are caused by cardiovascular issues. A heart disease, a congenital heart problem, a problem with the circulatory system, especially clogged blood vessels of the heart can all lead to acute cardiac events or cardiac emergencies.

The various conditions that could result in a cardiac emergency are:

  • Coronary artery disease– leading to clogged arteries
  • Arrythmias/ dysrhythmias- electrical problems leading to irregular heartbeat
  • Acute Myocardial Infarction- heart attack
  • Cardiac Arrest – complete stopping of the heart
  • Heart Failure- when heart cannot function properly
  • Congestive Heart Failure- heart failure due to fluid build-up


The symptoms of a cardiac emergency:

  • Cheat pain/ pressure
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Arm/ shoulder/ back/ jaw/ throat pain
  • Nausea/ vomiting/ indigestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety/ restlessness


How to save a person who suffers a cardiac emergency

When a person suffers a heart emergency, only immediate assistance can save his life. If blood supply to the heart muscle is stopped, the affected muscles are damaged and die. If the heart does not function properly, circulation to the body is disrupted damaging all organs. If a person suffers a cardiac arrest and the heart stops functioning he will require immediate resuscitation to prevent death.


The 4 steps that give a heart attack victim 90% chance of survival if taken within minutes of a cardiac emergency:

Early Access to Care: Call for an ambulance immediately. Ambulances are equipped with life saving equipment and paramedics will be able to start emergency treatment at your doorstep.

Early Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): Learn CPR. It could keep the person alive till emergency medical help arrives.

Early Defibrillation: Delivering an electrical shock is necessary when ventricular fibrillation leads to sudden cardiac death.

Early Advanced Care: After defibrillation establishes a stead heartbeat, the patient will require advanced care in a hospital to treat the cause and prevent future events.

A heart emergency gives you very little time to react. Your quick response will determine how the victim fares with treatment. If CPR and defibrillation are started immediately without waiting for the arrival of the ambulance, the victim has a 90% chance of recovery. If delayed, survival chances decrease by 10% every minute of delay.

If you suspect a person is suffering a cardiac emergency, please call for an ambulance at once. For all heart problems and emergencies, consult our cardiologists.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Department of Cardiology

Department of Cardiology

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