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FLORIDA - CARDIAC ARREST: When someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest, they have a loss of heart function which can lead to sudden cardiac death; the biggest cause of natural death in the United States. Cardiac arrest is caused by a malfunction in the electrical system to the heart causing the heart to beat irregularly. When the heartbeat becomes too fast or too slow, blood is not delivered throughout the body to important organs such as the lungs and brain. Often times people in cardiac arrest will lose consciousness because there is not enough blood and oxygen reaching the brain. (Source:


SIGNS: If a person goes into cardiac arrest, it is important to get immediate medical help and call 911, or else the person could die. Although in more than half of all sudden cardiac arrest cases there are no symptoms prior to the actual cardiac arrest, here are a few signs that sometimes precede cardiac arrest:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Chest Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Heart palpitations

When cardiac arrest does occur the person may lose consciousness, have no pulse and stop breathing. CPR can help oxygen reach the lungs and brain while an electric shock to the chest using a defibrillator will help restore a normal heart rhythm. (Source:


TREATMENT: After a person experiences a sudden cardiac arrest episode, there is a higher likelihood that they will have another. Treatments to help avoid another cardiac arrest include medication called beta-blockers, which prevent unusually fast or irregular heart rhythms, and corrective heart surgery to help people with issues like congenital heart defects and heart muscle disease that may be the underlying cause of the cardiac arrest. A treatment used to lower the risk of death if another cardiac arrest occurs is the implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD. This device is implanted in patients and monitors and controls abnormal heart rhythms. (Source: