Clinical Characteristics of Cardiac Arrest

In this article, we will discuss the Clinical Characteristics of Cardiac Arrest. So, let’s get started.

Clinical Characteristics

1. Prodromal symptoms and signs: These complaints are non-specific, presaged by days, weeks or months and are indicated of any major cardiac event. These include increasing angina, dyspnea, palpitation, easy fatiguability, etc

2. Onset of terminal events: Any change in cardiovascular status one hour before cardiac arrest constitutes onset of terminal events. The more rapid is the onset of terminal events, the more is the probability of cardiac arrest. Continuous ECG recording fortuitously obtained at the onset of a cardiac arrest commonly demonstrate changes in cardiac electrical activity (ECG changes of dying heart) within the minutes or hours before the event. Most cardiac arrest occurring by the mechanism of VF begin with a run of sustained or nonsustained VT degenerating rapidly into VF and asystole.

3. Disturb consciousness: A rhythmic cardiac arrest (VF) is characterized by likelihood of the patients being awake and active prior to arrest; while on the other hand cardiac arrest due to circulatory failure is characterized by disturb consciousness, any long duration of terminal in less.

Complete loss of consciousness with no pulse and BP are sine qua non of cardiac arrest

4. Forewarning symptoms and signs may occur in setting of acute MI; such as prolonged angina pain of AMI, acute onset of dyspnea, orthopnea, sudden onset of palpitation, sustained tachycardia or lightheadedness. In MI, cardiac arrest maybe primary (no hemodynamic instability) or secondary (presence of hemodynamic instability) and has clinical significance because majority or all patients survive with primary cardiac arrest while majority (70%) die in secondary cardiac arrest immediately or during the hospitalization.

5. Progression to biological death is a function of the mechanism of cardiac arrest and depends on length of the delay before interventions. VF or asystole without CPR within first 4-6 minutes leads to biological death.


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