Symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest include unexpected collapse, unforeseen loss of breathing, unconsciousness and sudden loss of heart function, states Mayo Clinic. People who regularly experience sudden lightheadedness, heart palpitations, wheezing and irregular heartbeats should seek medical attention.
Shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, chest pain and blackouts occur before a sudden cardiac arrest, states Mayo Clinic. Fatigue, vomiting, weakness and palpitations may also precede the problem. A sudden cardiac arrest may lead to permanent brain damage or death, so administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, chest compressions or calling 911 help to increase chances of survival.
The primary cause of sudden cardiac arrest is abnormal heart rhythm, explains Mayo Clinic. Certain preceding heart conditions, including enlarged heart, coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease, heart attack and hereditary heart disease lead to the problem as well.
Smoking, living a sedentary lifestyle, a family history of coronary artery disease, obesity and hypertension are risk factors for the condition, according to Mayo Clinic. Obesity, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and high blood cholesterol predispose a person to the life-threatening condition as well. A physical and medical examinations as well as blood tests and imaging procedures help to provide a diagnosis. Staying physically active, avoiding smoking, cutting down on the intake of alcohol and eating a healthy diet help to prevent the problem.