It is known as sudden cardiac arrest but new research shows that it may not be quite so sudden after all. New research indicates that there seems to be tell-tale warning signs that cardiac arrest may be pending. In fact, the research says that more than half of all patients ignore these symptoms for as long as an entire month leading up to the incident.
And by then, it is often too late to do anything about it. In fact, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute’s Dr. Sumeet Chugh says, “By the time the 911 call is made, it’s much too late for at least 90 percent of people. There’s this window of opportunity that we really didn’t know existed.”
And apparently that window could be several weeks.
This, then, is a very important reminder to everyone not to ignore any symptoms of heart trouble. Some, for example, assume (or maybe hope) the chest pain is just indigestion.
Don’t ignore it, warns University of Pittsburgh Emergency Medicine specialist Dr. Clifton Callaway. Also the chair for the American Heart Association’s emergency care committee, Dr. Callaway goes on to say, “Chest pain, shortness of breath those are things you should come in the middle of the night to the emergency department and get checked out. We strongly recommend you don’t try to ride it out at home.”
Indeed, this could have saved the other 90 percent of the 326,000 who had a heart attack outside of a hospital in 2011. Only 10.6 percent of these patients survived; but these numbers could change drastically with the new knowledge.
“These new findings give good reason not to ignore unusual sensations, as vague as they may be,” explains Dr. Eduardo Marbán, who is the director for f the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. “Better to seek medical attention early than to risk dying suddenly.”
But Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Heart Rhythm Center medical director Dr. Sumeet Chugh, MD sheds more light on this new insight. “Sudden cardiac arrest in middle age hits society hard since most who are affected are their families’ primary breadwinners. Now that we realize that sudden death may not be so sudden, there is also potential for new shorter-term approaches by increasing awareness and education of patients and their healthcare providers.”