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What is Cardiac Arrest? Causes, Risk factors & Prevention

26 July, 2021 Piyush

Of all the precious things gifted to man, the human body is the best of all. A wonderful combination of numerous organs working together in synchronization with each other, and that too tirelessly for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! A machine (if we may call a human body one) so complex and efficient, made with so much precision and accuracy is impossible to make for even the best of the technologies of the day.

In this marvelous human body too, lies an amazing organ, the heart. The pumping organ, responsible for ensuring the flow of blood in each and every part of the body. The heart is held in so high priority simply for the fact that it ensures the proper flow of blood in the body, the blood, which contains the essence of life, oxygen. If any part of the body is unable to receive oxygen for anything more than a couple of minutes, then the body is at high risk of being nonfunctional. Or what it is called death!

What is Cardiac Arrest?

As we know by the moment, the heart is by now one of the most important organs, needed for the basic survival of the human body. But, the heart is too vulnerable to diseases and malfunctions. And the most displeasing malfunction of the lot is cardiac arrest!

The situation in which the heart all of a sudden ceases to beat and the supply of oxygen-rich blood is stopped due to the absence of pumping, is known as cardiac arrest.

To understand the reason behind the cardiac arrest, we need to know about the basic functioning of the heart. The beats of the heart (heartbeat pattern) are controlled by electrical impulses from our brain. Whenever these electrical impulses change their pattern, the heartbeat becomes irregular. Due to severe irregularities in the beating pattern of the heart, the heart stops beating in some cases, which in turn is, fatal!

Causes of cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest, going by the severity of the problem, is quite a grave issue. But due to the advances in medical literature, enough information has been accumulated to get to the root cause of a problem as serious as cardiac arrest.

Ventricular Fibrillation

Of the 4 chambers present in the heart, the lower 2 chambers are called ventricles. Whenever the heart experiences ventricular fibrillation, the lower 2 chambers of the heart get unusual in their beating pattern and lose their synchronization. Due to this inefficient pumping pattern of the heart, the amount of blood being pumped in the body reduces severely and in some cases the flow of blood stops completely.

Atrial Fibrillation

When the upper 2 chambers of the heart, known as the atria, experience an unusual beating pattern, it is known as atrial fibrillation. This happens due to the reception of incorrect electrical impulses by the atria. The sinoatrial node is responsible for the passage of the electrical impulses, and any irregularity results in atrial fibrillation. Many times, atrial fibrillation becomes a cause for cardiac arrest too.

Risk factors for cardiac arrest

It becomes extremely important to study the risk factors of cardiac arrest in order to have an insight into who and what type of people are at a higher risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest.

  • Large Heart: Having a large heart simply points to the fact that the muscles of the heart are abnormally large and require more effort to beat, which means there are higher risks of having irregular heartbeats.

  • Electrical Impulse Problems: Whenever the brain and the heart desynchronize due to some problem with the electrical impulse system, there rises a high risk of the heart experiencing irregular heartbeats and even a cardiac arrest.

  • Coronary Heart Disease: Whenever the arteries carrying the blood to the heart, known as coronary arteries, get blocked, the heart does not receive much blood. This increases the risk of cardiac arrest exponentially.

Prevention As we know by now, cardiac arrest is a problem that everybody wants to avoid at any and all costs. Let us have a look at the habits to leave to prevent cardiac arrest.

  • Smoking
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Food with high calories and fats


Since the heart is more important than anything within the body, and the risks associated with it are quite high, therefore we must make sure to take proper care of it. The adoption of a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits can save you from a lot of trouble as far as the upkeep of heart is concerned. So why to wait? Adopt a healthy lifestyle today!