When it comes to severe, unexpected conditions like Sudden Cardiac Arrest, you might wonder if you are at risk, and what that can mean. For anyone with family history of heart issues, seemingly random heart attacks can be something that might loom over your head. While there are many different causes and risks involved in each person’s heart health, there are some tactics that can be taken to reduce the risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (otherwise known as SCA).
In honor of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, Red River ER wants to talk about some possible causes of SCA, the risk factors involved, and prevention steps every family can take to build stronger hearts. We want to help you to know what you might be at risk for and help you stay healthy in the face of it.
What is SCA?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the medical term for any moment when your heart stops beating. It can be caused by a variety of heart conditions, from genetic disorders to severe infections. Since there is such a wide spectrum of causes, it can be difficult to know when you might be at risk. For many heart conditions, SCA is a higher risk, and some of those conditions are:
- Coronary Heart Disease
- History of heart attacks or heart surgery
- History of heart arrhythmia (inconsistent heart beats)
- Structural changes or conditions involving the heart (enlarged heart, heart-specific infections, or advanced heart disease, for example)
For the many different causes of SCA, these are some of the most well known types of health conditions which make Sudden Cardiac Arrest more likely. If you or someone in your family has one of these conditions, you will want to begin consulting with a doctor about your long-term heart health.
Risk Factors of SCA
While SCA can be caused by different health conditions, some people might be worried about whether or not they are at risk for some of those conditions. Family history can be a good indicator of your heart’s long-term health, but it is also important to look at your health habits and determine if you are accidentally hurting your heart. The following are some common risk factors for heart disease, and SCA:
- Drug use
- Excessive or frequent alcohol use
- Unhealthy diets and lack of exercise
- High blood pressure
These are some of the most common, and most changeable, factors in Sudden Cardiac Arrest. If you are worried about your heart health, then look at your lifestyle. Do you engage in any of the above risk factors? What about multiple? If you think there are factors in your life that you can change to strengthen your heart, then talk with your doctor about how to make these changes in the best way for you.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is exactly what it sounds like: sudden. It often comes with very few symptoms and very little time to take action. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that SCA has a high mortality rate when medical intervention does not happen in minutes of it happening. This makes prevention one of the best ways you can combat SCA. If you are worried about SCA or your family’s history with heart conditions that might cause SCA, then talk with your doctor about early screenings to assess your heart health.
Outside of doctor consultations, the best things you can do for your heart are to avoid the risk factors we discussed above. Cut out the bad health habits, even if it takes you a while to completely quit them. It is never too late to start engaging in good health habits, and in years to come, your body will be thankful for the positive changes you make right now.
Red River ER is here to support our community with concierge-level care for all ages. Our board-certified doctors can stabilize heart attacks and Sudden Cardiac Arrest cases, and if you ever experience SCA and need help finding the right long-term treatment plan for you, we can help. Red River ER is open 24/7, even on holidays, to make sure you and your family has access to the best care.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Red River ER or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.