I will be discussing my paper on one of the most common cardiovascular emergencies which would be a patient in cardiac arrest. I believe this is by far the most common occurrence in the health care field because there are so many causes to put pressure on the heart.
Many calls in the EMS profession are chest pains and shortness of breath. Many heart problems cause anxiety, abnormal heart pulse, palpitations and lack of blood flow. Sudden cardiac death is typically defined as an unexpected natural death from a cardiac cause within 1 hour of the onset of symptoms.
Estimating the prevalence of sudden cardiac death is difficult but is variously estimated as up to half of heart-related deaths or up to 10% of all deaths in our community. (Vandenberg et al., 2017)
Cardiac arrest can be caused by many of the symptoms discussed, but this is usually when the heart has completely given up and is no longer acting as the pump to provide blood and oxygen throughout the entire body.
This is when cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is initiated as a management to preserve the organs and provide oxygen to the patient. Sometimes CPR works and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) occurs. The heart can be defibrillated or cardioverted depending on the rhythm. Sometimes shocking it to stop it to get it to return to normal function is a great choice before it getting completely out of control. Other interventions in the EMS and hospital settings epinephrine is administered in a dose of 1:10,000 to restart the heart to give it a jumpstart for emergency situations and sometimes an implanted cardioverter can be surgically inserted to prevent future attacks on the heart.
The best interventions for many people that are faced with hypertension, coronary artery disease, irregular heart rhythms or any other type of heart disease would be to get checked by the primary physician routinely. Part of managing heart problems is noticing the symptoms before it ever leads to cardiac arrest because that is the most fatal of heart issues. Cessation of smoking, and sufficient treatment of diabetes and arterial hypertension, are therefore paramount to the prevention of SCD. In addition, several drugs are useful to prevent SCD in patients with known coronary artery disease or heart failure. Drugs that prevent acute ischaemic cardiac events (aspirin, hydroxymethylglutarate CoA (HMG?CoA) reductase inhibitors or statins, ??blockers) appear to have a moderate effect in reducing SCD caused by ischaemic heart disease. (Kirchhof et al., 2006)
Other ways to prevent cardiovascular diseases which lead to emergencies if not monitored, would be to stay active, exercise frequently and eat healthier meals. Exercise is a great way to help the body function more efficiently by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and sends fat away from arteries. Exercising also creates a great habit for a daily lifestyle. It also helps with improving circulation therefore lowers the risk of blood clots that can lead to a heart attack. Eating better will also be a great way to reduce cholesterol, fats and prevent putting greasy meals into your body causing arteries to slowly become compacted which puts more pressure on the arteries that cause additional heart problems.
Prevention is the key when it comes to cardiovascular emergencies because once it is so bad there is not enough medication or exercise able to fix it without pre-hospital or hospital care. Lifestyle management plays an important role in the world of cardiovascular care, and for most cardiovascular diseases, exercise is listed as an essential component of lifestyle advice. (Bove, 2016). In conclusion being in involved with your primary care physician, taking necessary prescribed medications and exercising will prevent a life threatening sudden cardiac arrest and avoid interventions to manage it in a pre-hospital and hospital setting.
Bove A. A. (2016). Exercise and Heart Disease. Methodist DeBakey cardiovascular journal, 12(2), 74-5. P., Breithardt, G., & Eckardt, L. (2006). Primary prevention of sudden cardiac death. Heart (British Cardiac Society), 92(12), 1873-8. J. I., Perry, M. D., & Hill, A. P. (2017). Recent advances in understanding and prevention of sudden cardiac death. F1000Research, 6, 1614. doi:10.12688/f1000research.11855.1.