Some people confuse cardiac arrest with heart attack. However, the two are quite different. If your older family member has experienced cardiac arrest, knowing more about it can help you to know how to better care for them.
Overview of Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac arrest differs from a heart attack in what causes it. Cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical disruption. The disruption stops the heart from beating and sending blood throughout the body. When this occurs, the person stops breathing and falls unconscious. A heart attack, on the other hand, is caused by the blood flow to part of the heart being blocked.
People who have had a cardiac arrest episode are at greater risk for having another one. Other risk factors for cardiac arrest are:
- Having relatives who have had coronary artery disease.
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- Lack of physical activity.
There are several heart conditions that also raise the risk for cardiac affect. Some of these conditions are:
- Coronary artery disease.
- Heart attack.
- Problems with heart valves.
You can recognize cardiac arrest in your aging relative by watching for these symptoms:
- Suddenly losing consciousness.
- No pulse.
- Not breathing.
Some people have other signs that occur before cardiac arrest, such as:
- An uncomfortable feeling in the chest.
- Feeling weak.
- Shortness of breath.
- Heart palpitations.
What to Do if Cardiac Arrest Occurs
If your older family member experiences cardiac arrest, quick action is required to save their lives. The Mayo Clinic suggests taking these steps:
- Immediately call 911. Do this even before beginning CPR if a phone is readily available.
- Perform CPR. If you have been trained in CPR, follow your training. Even if you have not been trained, performing chest compressions could help to save the older adult.
- Use a defibrillator. If you happen to have access to a defibrillator, follow the instructions on the device to deliver a shock. The machine will need some time to charge, so continue with CPR until it is ready. After delivering the shock, resume CPR.
Knowing that your older family member is at risk for cardiac arrest can be frightening. You may worry about leaving them home alone. Home care is a good way to ease your mind and know that your aging relative is safe when you are not there. A home care provider can stay with the senior, helping them with whatever they need while there. Home care providers can also watch for signs of cardiac arrest and call for emergency help should an episode occur.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Rockwell, NC, contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at (704) 612-4132
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