5% Of People Who Get Cardiac Arrest Don't Even Survive Enough To Reach Hospital: Dr Praveen Chandra
Cardiologist Dr Praveen Chandra tells all about cardiac arrest, its causes, risks and symptoms.
Sridevi was only 54 years old.
- Young people and women are more prone to risks of cardiac arrests
- Diabetics and hypertension patients must get regular medical check-ups
- Cardiac arrests can make a person go breathless and unconscious
The sad demise of veteran actress Sridevi has left the entire nation in a state of shock. She was in Dubai attending her nephew's wedding when she suffered from a cardiac arrest in Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel, says a report in the Khaleej Times, quoting family sources. The report states that her husband Boney Kapoor had surprised her with his visit and was taking her out for dinner. The 54-year-old actress went to the washroom to get ready and didn't come out for quite some time. Boney forcefully opened the door and saw her lying motionless in a bathtub filled with water.
Shocking isn't it? Let's explore what a cardiac arrest really is.
A cardiac arrest is a situation when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood in the body. It happens when a problem occurs with the electrical signals in the heart. When heart stops pumping blood, oxygen supply to the brain stops. This makes the patient go breathless and eventually makes him unconscious.
Also read: Here's Why Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Are Usually Misinterpreted
Cardiologist Dr Praveen Chandra says, "Young people, especially young women are prone to risks of cardiac arrests and the reason is that they don't exercise too much. Up until the age of 45, it is the hormones that help protect women from an unwanted occurring like cardiac arrest. But since the hormones begin running out of the body after that, this protection goes away and makes women prone to such conditions. People suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure are even prone to getting cardiac arrests."
He says that cardiac arrests often happen because the body is not prepared. "For instance, if you are pushed by someone, it is more likely that you will be shocked. Young people and women are not adapted to the disease and that's why they get cardiac arrest," explains Dr Praveen.
Also read: Eat This And Reduce The Risk Of Heart Diseases
He suggests that to prevent any such occurring, it is very important to get regular check-ups for people who have high risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
"Everybody has this tendency that they don't want to take medicines at a young age. I have so many patients who reject the idea of taking medicines. Whenever I prescribe medicines to the younger lot, either they will never see me after that or they will go back home and never buy the medicines," says worrisome Dr Praveen while adding that damage starts happening to the body even at a young age.
Also read: Cardiac Arrest Vs Heart Attack: What is the Difference?
On the other hand, people who are healthy, should be very particular about getting regular checkups done, says Dr Praveen. People who have history of heart diseases or have parents suffering from heart diseases are at higher risk of cardiac arrest.
He further mentions that cholesterol levels are also big contributors to heart ailments. "Again, at a young age, people don't usually get their cholesterol levels checked. This is the reason why so many young people are dying, despite having access to everything," he says.
Lifestyle habits are also big contributors to cardiac arrest. "Not eating enough fruits and vegetables and not taking a balanced diet can lead to cardiac arrest. The average Indian diet - roti, dal, chawal and sabzi - is a perfect balanced diet. But westernisation is killing everybody. Nobody wants to eat dal chawal at home. Everyone wants foods like pasta or chicken," says Dr Praveen while signaling at why such events have become so common in the present times.
Speaking of the warning signs of cardiac arrest, Dr Praveen says that one will feel unusually breathless, dizzy or unexplained acidity. These signs are a clear indicator that one should start taking heart problems seriously.
Also, cardiac arrests can be as sudden as the case of Sridevi. "5 % of the people never even reach the hospital," adds Dr Praveen.
(Dr Praveen Chandra is Chairman, Department of Interventional Cardiology, Medanta)
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