Is death from sudden cardiac arrest painful?

Sudden Cardiac Death

Reacting quickly can save life when there is a risk of sudden cardiac death.
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SuddenlyCardiac death (Sudden Death) refers to deaths in which a person is due to a sudden Heart failure dies very quickly and unexpectedly. Younger people can be affected just as much as older people.

At the suddenCardiac death, which is often also called Second death or taken from the English as SuddenDeath a person dies because his heart suddenly fails. Sudden cardiac death is usually spoken of if it does not take more than an hour from the first onset of symptoms to death.

First aid for sudden cardiac death

It is the suddenCardiac death one of the most common causes of death in our latitudes. In Germany, it is estimated that around 70,000 to 100,000 people are affected each year and die, if not immediately Resuscitation measures (Resuscitation).

Sudden cardiac death leads to fatal fibrillation

The suddenCardiac death usually begins with the heart coming out of its usual rhythm, with the heartbeat of the main chambers accelerating considerably. The doctor speaks of one Tachycardia. If the heart beats faster and faster, then finally enough blood can no longer be pumped into the body. The heart itself is no longer adequately supplied with blood and the contraction of the Ventricles becomes flatter and flatter until it finally comes to cardiac fibrillation (ventricular fibrillation) and thus practically to cardiac arrest. This condition is life threatening because the body's organs are no longer supplied with oxygen and nutrients if blood is not pumped around the body. If the heart function is not restarted immediately by appropriate treatment, there is a risk of it Cardiac arrest and with it death, that is suddenCardiac death.

If you have these symptoms, go to the doctor!

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Glossary:

  • arrhythmia: Arrhythmia
  • Defibrillator: Heart pulse generator
  • Heart failure:Heart failure
  • Ischemia: Insufficient blood flow
  • Myocardial infarction:Heart attack
  • resuscitation: revival
  • Sudden Death: sudden cardiac death
  • Tachycardia: the heart beating faster

Sudden cardiac death: symptoms

The main signs of a sudden heart attack are chest pain, fainting, and respiratory failure.

Characteristic of the suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death) it is that the event sets in very quickly. That means at the same time that it is usually hardly Warning signals and Early symptoms gives.

Signs of sudden cardiac death such as a heart attack

It can with suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death) Symptoms such as those known from a heart attack will initially appear:

  • Malaise,
  • Palpitations,
  • Palpitations.

Then suddenly there is massive pain in the chest area, severe tightness and shortness of breath. The patient collapses and is no longer responsive. The Pulse the carotid artery is no longer palpable, shortly afterwards breathing stops. Death can occur after a few minutes.

This is how a heart attack manifests itself in women

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Take signs of sudden heart attack seriously

Likewise, death can occur suddenly, with those affected collapsing or falling, quickly losing consciousness and dying. The signs of a suddenCardiac death should always be taken extremely seriously. Immediate only firstHelp can save life.

Sudden cardiac death: causes

In around 90 percent of the cases there is one Arrhythmia the root cause of suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death).

Usually the event begins with the Heartbeat due to a disturbed Impulses more and more accelerated until finally an effective contraction of the Ventricles is no longer possible. It slows down less often Heartbeatuntil the heart at suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death) ultimately stands still.

Sudden cardiac death also causes coronary artery disease

The suddenCardiac death usually occurs on the basis of coronary heart disease (CHD). It can lead to disturbances in the conduction system, so that the heart receives wrong impulses as well as a disturbance of the Pump function of the heart and reduced blood flow to the heart muscle (ischemia).


Likewise, a Myocarditis, which is often the result of an infection, pave the way for sudden cardiac death. The causes but can also lie outside the heart. Because also a massive one Pulmonary embolism Just like the rupture of the main artery (aorta) can cause a suddenCardiac arrest be.

Sudden cardiac death and exercise: causes and prevention

Dr. Heart / team of experts

It can also be unusual excitements cause sudden cardiac death. In surveys, for example, there is an increased rate of such events among viewers of a Soccer tournament reported. People with are particularly at risk with regard to such an event coronaryHeart disease and especially if they Smoker are.

Risk Factors for Sudden Death

Risk factors of the suddenCardiac death are above all heart diseases that lead to disturbances of the impulse generation in the heart and with it Cardiac arrhythmias can condition. These include, for example, coronary heart disease, the Heart failure (Heart failure), one Myocarditis and most importantly, heart damage after one Heart attackwhich in turn is usually the result of coronary heart disease.

However, around five percent of all cases of sudden cardiac death occur in people who are considered to be completely healthy in their hearts, i.e. who have no heart disease.

Sudden cardiac death during exercise - is the cause of anabolic steroids?

That is particularly dramatic suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death) when young, physically active people are affected. Sudden deaths during exercise are by no means extremely rare. Most of the time there is something unknown about the events Heart disease of the athlete concerned.

It can be one innateHeart defect act that has not yet been noticed by complaints and consequently not discovered or congenital changes in the conduction of stimuli in the heart area. However, it is not uncommon for acquired heart disease to be the cause of sudden cardiac death in athletes. In younger people this is often an infectious one Myocarditis, In older people, an unknown coronary heart disease is more in the foreground. The risk of a suddenCardiac death in sport, therefore, it increases significantly beyond the age of 35. It can also be increased by the improper use of medication, in particular doping substances such as Anabolic steroids and Growth hormones. The causes for the suddenCardiac death are so very different.

Sudden cardiac death: diagnosis

The diagnosis more suddenlyCardiac death (Sudden Death) the doctor uses the characteristic signs of acute cardiac arrest:

  • unconsciousness,
  • Pulselessness,
  • Apnea.

Diagnosing sudden cardiac death based on typical signs

At the suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death) is at the Carotid artery no more palpable pulse beat. There is also a respiratory arrest, which means that breathing movements of the chest are no longer recognizable and no breathing air can be felt through the mouth and nose. No major technical effort is required for this. Most of the time he recognizes Ambulance At first glance, feel the pulse and check your breath to see whether the heart has stopped and make the diagnosis more suddenlyCardiac death.

Sudden heart attack diagnosis in the clinic

If timely one Ambulance is on site or the person concerned can be admitted to the clinic immediately, further examinations, such as an EKG, are carried out. Ventricular fibrillation is clearly evident here. In addition, other tests help diagnose sudden cardiac death and show the physical causes of sudden cardiac death. These include Blood test, Cardiac catheters and Electrophysiological examination.

Sudden cardiac death: therapy

Occurs a more suddenlyCardiac death (Sudden Death) So the definitive death of the person concerned can only be through a rapid treatment and, if necessary, an immediate one revival (resuscitation) must be averted.

If there is any suspicion suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death) must therefore immediately Ambulance and ambulances are called so that the treatment begins.

First aid for sudden cardiac death

Until the emergency doctor arrives they are life-saving Immediate action necessary to the Cycle and with it the Oxygen supply as possible to maintain. To check whether the person is still breathing or not, the head must be hyperextended back and the lower jaw pulled forward. Then the helper should hold his head directly over the head of the person concerned and quickly check whether there are breathing noises or a breath flow. If breathing is no longer detectable, one must Heart massage and ventilation is given by the first aider. Specifically, chest compressions are performed 30 times in the middle of the chest and then the head is hyperextended and ventilated twice each time.

Recognize heart failure in good time

Dr. Heart / team of experts

How the emergency doctor helps with sudden cardiac death

In the case of medical treatment from suddenCardiac death by the emergency doctor and / or the ambulance service, it is also initially a question of preserving the patient's life, which is usually a treatment with a Defibrillator requires as well as a Intubation and subsequent artificial respiration.

Defibrillator for sudden cardiac death

At the Defibrillator is a device that the Heart gives impulses for rhythmization or for further striking by means of an electric shock. To do this, electrodes are placed on the chest and activated. The Power surge is directed from the chest inwards to the heart and is supposed to make it beat again. Defibrillators can now be found in many public places such as airports, train stations, department stores and sports facilities. They can be used by everyone, as their handling is very simple and self-explanatory. First responder can't go wrong.

Prompt treatment increases the chance of survival in sudden cardiac death

Due to the immediate measures, around five to eight percent of people survive with one suddenCardiac death the life-threatening event. If expert helpers are nearby, more than 50 percent of those affected survive sudden cardiac death.

Sudden cardiac death: prevention

This can be prevented suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death) best indirectly, by early Risk factors for heart disease that can cause such an event to be broken down.

Avoid risk factors for sudden cardiac death

General risk factors that can be influenced by lifestyle include

  • Smoke,
  • Obesity,
  • unhealthy nutrition and
  • Sedentary lifestyle.

Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels

Have already developed disorders such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol levels in the blood or a diabeteswho have coronary artery disease and therefore potentially also one suddenCardiac death (Sudden Death) favor, they must be treated consistently.

No unusual, too demanding sporting loads

Regarding the precautionary measures regarding a suddenCardiac death it is also important to do so before starting unusual sporting activities Heart health to be checked by a doctor.

It is also advisable to be careful about resuming physical activity after a serious infection such as the flu. Because serious infections can damage the heart muscle and a Myocarditis which in turn can lead to sudden cardiac death in the event of intense physical exertion.

An implanted defibrillator protects against sudden cardiac death

Is a high risk for you suddenCardiac death known, the danger from permanent implantation of a Defibrillators be reduced in the body. The implanted defibrillator automatically detects acute dangerous situations via sensors and then gives immediate feedback Power surges to the heart to get it back on track.

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