Science News
from research organizations

Sudden cardiac arrest may not be so sudden

Date:
December 21, 2015
Source:
American College of Physicians
Summary:
Sudden cardiac arrest may not be an entirely unexpected event, suggests new research. Warning signs are common in the days and weeks leading up to a heart attack, but those symptoms are often ignored. Attention to symptoms and early interventions may improve survival.
Share:
FULL STORY

Sudden cardiac arrest may not be so sudden, say researchers, adding that warning signs are common, but are often ignored, in the weeks preceding a heart attack.

According to an article published in Annals of Internal Medicine, sudden cardiac arrest may not be an entirely unexpected event. Warning signs are common in the days and weeks leading up to a heart attack, but those symptoms are often ignored. Attention to symptoms and early interventions may improve survival.

Sudden cardiac arrest is almost always fatal, so finding ways to prevent it is important. Researchers hypothesized that the presence of and response to warning symptoms that occur in the hours, days, and weeks preceding heart attack may be associated with better survival. They collected information about the 4 weeks before sudden cardiac arrest from survivors, family members, friends, medical records, and emergency response records to determine what symptoms, if any, were present. Symptoms were classified as chest pain (typical or atypical), difficulty breathing, palpitations, sudden drop in blood pressure/loss of consciousness, and other (including abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, back pain).

The researchers found that about one half of patients with available information had warning symptoms in those 4 weeks that often recurred during the 24 hours before sudden cardiac arrest. Most patients ignored their symptoms, but the patients who called 911 significantly increased chances for survival. The authors suggest that these findings highlight the potential importance of developing new community-based strategies for short-term prevention of sudden cardiac arrest.


Story Source:

Materials provided by American College of Physicians. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eloi Marijon, Audrey Uy-Evanado, Florence Dumas, Nicole Karam, Kyndaron Reinier, Carmen Teodorescu, Kumar Narayanan, Karen Gunson, Jonathan Jui, Xavier Jouven, Sumeet S. Chugh. Warning Symptoms Are Associated With Survival From Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2015; DOI: 10.7326/M14-2342

Cite This Page:

American College of Physicians. "Sudden cardiac arrest may not be so sudden." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151221193400.htm>.
American College of Physicians. (2015, December 21). Sudden cardiac arrest may not be so sudden. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 29, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151221193400.htm
American College of Physicians. "Sudden cardiac arrest may not be so sudden." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151221193400.htm (accessed April 29, 2017).