The missing warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest

When a cardiac arrest hits, it hits fast and hard. For every 60 seconds that tick by, your chances of surviving drop by 10 per cent. So if the paramedics don’t get there in 10 minutes, your heart attack is likely to be fatal.

But a new study indicates that cardiac arrest may not necessarily be as unexpected as we thought. In fact, in the hours — and even WEEKS — before the attack, there are warning signs. And taking them seriously could save your life.

According to a report, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, about half of sudden cardiac arrest patients experienced their earliest warning signs as many as four weeks before the event. And then, the same signs reappeared in the 24 hours before their heart finally stopped.

At first the signs seem minor… a bout of chest pain… a little shortness of breath… a palpitation or two…. They’re so easy to dismiss as nothing serious… maybe you’re just getting older.

In fact, according to the study, most people — about four out of five — ignore the warnings and don’t call for emergency help. But some of them are even missing more serious signals that should be grabbing their attention like a set of roadside flares — including nausea, abdominal and back pain, and other ongoing flu-like symptoms.

Those that did call emergency services, the researchers discovered, had a 32 per cent chance of surviving, a vast improvement over the 6 per cent survival rate of those who didn’t seek emergency help.

Don’t ignore your body’s warnings. If you have any of these unexpected symptoms, see your doctor immediately — especially if you’re at high risk for coronary heart disease, which causes 70 per cent of cases of cardiac arrest.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
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“Sudden cardiac arrest may follow missing warning signs,” Fox News, Dec. 22, 2015

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