Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening, emergency situation in which the heart stops beating entirely. It requires immediate treatment. In many cases, cardiac arrest can be prevented by treating existing underlying conditions.
Dignity Health North State delivers high quality cardiac care through our state-of-the-art hospitals and community clinics. Find a Doctor today to discuss your heart health, and how to best avoid needing cardiac arrest treatment in Northern California.
How to Treat Cardiac Arrest In Progress
If you see someone collapse in cardiac arrest, take action right away:
- Call 911 for emergency medical personnel
- Start hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Push hard and fast on the middle of the chest. Time the compressions to the rhythm of the disco song “Stayin’ Alive.”
- Use an automated external defibrillator (AED) device (if available) to restore a heart rhythm. Many public areas, such as schools, shopping malls, and sports venues, have AEDs.
If you’ve succeeded in resuscitating someone from cardiac arrest, that person will need to be treated for the underlying cause. Some common treatments include:
- Medications for heart disease or arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat)
- Lifestyle changes to improve heart health
- Surgery to correct blocked arteries or heart valve problems
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to automatically correct your heart rhythm
- Drug detoxification if drug abuse or overdose is responsible for the cardiac arrest
Treatment Options for Cardiac Arrest at Dignity Health North State
The initial treatment priority for cardiac arrest is to restore your normal heart rhythm. After you’ve been resuscitated, further treatment will depend on the cause of your cardiac arrest and your overall health.
If coronary artery disease caused your cardiac arrest, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes and possibly surgery or medication. Ask your doctor about the risks, benefits and likely outcomes of all recommended treatments.
How to Prevent Cardiac Arrest
It is possible to prevent cardiac arrest in most cases by treating the underlying medical condition before it causes complications. Schedule a checkup with your Dignity Health North State doctor at least once a year, so you can identify and treat your health concerns.
You can also lower your risk of cardiac arrest by:
- Engaging in a heart-health lifestyle
- Treating and monitoring your known heart conditions, such as high blood pressure
- Seeking medical attention for chest pain, palpitations or other symptoms of a heart condition
- Discussing with your doctor all of your prescribed medications, as certain drugs can cause arrhythmias
- Obtaining medical clearance before participating in physically straining activities like sports
- Not using illicit drugs
Our doctors at Dignity Health North State provide knowledgeable care ranging from emergency, life-extending treatments to routine annual exams. Learn more about the services we provide at our Northern California hospitals.
Dignity Health North State is here to help our patients through medical emergencies, including follow-up care after cardiac arrest treatment, in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.