A new study suggests that “sudden” cardiac arrest may actually be accompanied by weeks of warning signs — and if patients pay attention to these signs, it can dramatically increase their chances of surviving.
Sudden cardiac arrest means that the heart abruptly quits beating. If sudden cardiac arrest isn’t treated within a few minutes, it is often fatal. In fact 90% of people who experience sudden cardiac arrest die. Doctors used to think that these attacks were completely abrupt and unpredictable events, but new research shows that this may not be the case.
The study found that around half of patients who experienced sudden cardiac arrest experienced warning signs up to four weeks before their attack. However, 80% of people ignored those warning signs.
This condition kills 300,000 Americans every year, but the research suggests that this number could be dramatically lower if people paid attention to the warning signs. If you’re at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, here are a list of symptoms that researchers say you should look out for.
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain or pressure
- Flu-like symptoms (nausea, stomach pain, or back pain)