Best NCLEX-RN Class: The Client with Cardiac Health Problems
- The Client with Acute Coronary Syndromes
- The Client with Heart Failure
- The Client with Valvular Heart Disease
- The Client with Hypertension
- The Client with a Permanent Pacemaker
- The Client Requiring Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
- Managing Care Quality and Safety
- Answers, Rationales, and Test Taking Strategies
Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. The time and mode of death are unexpected. It occurs instantly or shortly after symptoms appear. Each year, more than 350,000 emergency medical services-assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.
Cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. In cardiac arrest death results when the heart suddenly stops working properly. This may be caused by abnormal, or irregular, heart rhythms (called arrhythmias).
A common arrhythmia in cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation. This is when the heart’s lower chambers suddenly start beating chaotically and don’t pump blood. Death occurs within minutes after the heart stops. Cardiac arrest may be reversed if CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is performed and a defibrillator is used to shock the heart and restore a normal heart rhythm within a few minutes.
A cardiac arrest, also known as cardiopulmonary arrest, happens when your heart suddenly stops pumping blood around your body. If someone has suddenly collapsed, is not breathing normally and is unresponsive, they are in cardiac arrest. Someone who has had a cardiac arrest will collapse unconscious. Even if you are untrained your actions can help.
Their breathing will be irregular, and may stop, and they will be unresponsive. When a cardiac arrest happens there is no time to lose. While waiting for an ambulance performing CPR can help keep a person alive.