African American Physician

Warning Signs of Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac Arrest can happen at any age and at any time. Although these incidences can be extremely hard to predict there are three red flags or warning signs, which could save your life.

 

1.Dizzy Spells

Having dizzy spells or passing out during exercise can be a telltale sign of a heart condition. Dizziness can be a sign that your heart’s rhythm isn’t functioning regularly which may cause you to collapse. Luckily if you collapse with enough consciousness to wake up this is most likely a sign your heart was strong enough to regain it’s strength; however see a doctor immediately and explain your situation.

 

2. Fainting

Fainting due to being frightened by loud noises or being startled is a second red flag. This reason isn’t entirely proven by doctors as to why, but evidence shows it is important enough to mention as a caution for possible heart issues. Again, if this is a warning sign you may have or do experience it is important to see a physician right away.

 

3. Sudden Death History

A history of sudden death in your family at a young age or of drowning is considered a third red flag. Many cardiac conditions cause you to pass out during exercise, which if occurring in water can cause drowning in victims. It is important to be aware of these different occurrences as you could be at risk for heart issues due to your genetic history.

 

Physicians can check your blood pressure or conduct an electrocardiogram, which can pick up electrical problems with the heart. More specialized tests include an echocardiogram (a heart ultrasound), which can identify issues such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomypathy.

It is important to note that these tests are not perfect, which is why anyone exercising needs be aware of the warning signs mentioned above. If you have chest pain, feel your heart beating too fast, shortness of breath, or feel yourself become faint during exercise, then stop and see your doctor right away.



Having an Automated External Defibrillator onsite at any exercise facility or sporting center is extremely important. It is too often in the news we hear of people of all ages dropping dead due to cardiac arrest while playing sports or taking part in physical activity. There are many different AEDs to choose from; however in active situations First Aid Canada highly recommends the Philips Onsite Defibrillator. For more information you can check out a recent blog on defibrillators, "Which AED is Right for Me?" and/or the informational video below.

 

 

Life is Precious. Be Prepared.