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How to Avoid Needing Cardiac Arrest Treatment


Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency in which the heart stops beating entirely, and requires immediate treatment. Depending on its cause, an episode of cardiac arrest may be possible to prevent. 

Dignity Health doctors are trained to handle any medical emergency, including cardiac arrest treatment in the Bay Area. Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency in which the heart stops beating entirely, and requires immediate treatment. Depending on its cause, an episode of cardiac arrest may be possible to prevent. 

Dignity Health doctors are trained to handle any medical emergency, including cardiac arrest treatment in the Bay Area. Find a Doctor today to learn how you can prevent cardiac arrest.today to learn how you can prevent cardiac arrest.

Emergency Treatment for Cardiac Arrest 

Immediate action is necessary if you witness someone collapse in cardiac arrest:

  • Call 9-1-1 to request assistance from emergency medical personnel.
  • Start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Push hard and fast on the center of the chest to the rhythm of the disco song, “Stayin’ Alive.” The American Heart Association recommends the use of hands-only CPR
  • Use an automated external defibrillator (AED) device (if available) to restore a regular heart rhythm. 

After being successfully resuscitated from cardiac arrest, the person will need to undergo treatment for the underlying cause of the episode. Treatment may include: 

  • Lifestyle changes to improve heart health
  • Medication for heart disease or arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
  • Surgery to correct blocked arteries or heart valve problems
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to automatically fix an abnormal heart rhythm
  • Drug detoxification if the cardiac arrest was caused by drug abuse or overdose

Understanding Your Treatment Options at Dignity Health

The initial management of cardiac arrest focuses on restoring a regular heart rhythm. After your heartbeat is restored, your treatment options will depend on the cause of the cardiac arrest, and your overall health. 

For example, if your cardiac arrest was caused by underlying coronary artery disease, your Dignity Health doctor will likely recommend lifestyle changes, and possibly prescription medication or a surgical procedure. 

Be sure to discuss with your doctor the risks, benefits and likely outcomes of all your recommended treatment options. 

How to Prevent Cardiac Arrest

Because cardiac arrest is caused by an underlying medical condition, it can often be prevented. Don’t skip your annual check-up with your primary doctor. These exams can uncover any developing health issues before they cause serious complications, such as cardiac arrest. 

Reduce your risk factors for cardiac arrest by: 

  • Treating and monitoring any known heart conditions, such as high blood pressure
  • Engaging in a heart-healthy lifestyle to avoid developing heart failure
  • Seeking medical attention for chest pain or other symptoms that could indicate you have a heart condition
  • Discussing with your doctor all medication you take (certain drugs can cause arrhythmias)
  • Obtaining medical clearance before playing sports or doing strenuous physical activity
  • Not using illicit drugs

Cardiac care at Dignity Health ranges from prevention and chronic disease management to treatment of heart attacks. Learn more about cardiac care services at our Bay Area hospitals.

Dignity Health offers advanced diagnostic procedures and treatment protocols, including cardiac arrest treatment in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.