Last night, former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj died following a cardiac arrest at the age of 67. According to reports, the veteran BJP leader was brought to AIIMS in a critical condition but soon passed away. Sadly, the survival rate of those who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is very low.
Dr Anupam Goel, Principal Consultant, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, says, “Cardiac arrest happens when there is an electrical malfunction in the heart causing arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). The heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. With this disruption in the heart function, other organs of the body also stop receiving blood supply. In the absence of immediate treatment, the person can die.”
Sudden cardiac arrest is characterized by immediate and drastic including sudden collapse, no pulse or breathing, and loss of consciousness. In the case of sudden cardiac arrest, it is crucial to make sure that the patient reaches the hospital within one hour and that the treatment is given immediately. This is a serious condition that requires immediate action to ensure survival. “The most effective way to treat sudden cardiac arrest is defibrillation. An SCA can be reversed if treatment is administered as soon as possible or within the first 5 to 10 minutes. It is important to begin CPR immediately and then find an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). There is also a need to provide CPR training to the masses to improve the outcome of SCA treatment,” Dr Goel says.
Some of the most important things to ensure that your heart is in good condition even in your later years and to ensure that you reduce your risk of cardiac arrest are:
Keep your sodium intake to a minimum. Excess of sodium is very common in our diets and is one of the main reasons for heart conditions like cardiac arrest. You need to include more whole grains, fruits and vegetables in your diet and to avoid unhealthy fats and cholesterol.
You must also skip smoking and drinking alcohol.