When there is an unexpected death due to a sudden cardiac arrest, it is known as sudden cardiac death. It is a major cause of death in the whole world. Almost half of all heart disease deaths are due to sudden cardiac death. In comparison to women, the incidents of sudden cardiac death are more in men.
Abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias cause the majority of sudden cardiac deaths, as per the opinion of the best cardiologist in Kolkata. Ventricular fibrillation is the most common among the life-threatening arrhythmias. The heart fails to pump blood in this condition and lack of immediate treatment can cause death within minutes.
The risk of sudden cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death can increase due to different factors. They include:
- Coronary Artery Disease: Smoking, high cholesterol, an enlarged heart and a family history of cardiovascular disease are the risk factors for coronary disease.
- Previous Heart Attack: After a heart attack, there is an increased risk of sudden cardiac death during the first six months.
- Less than 40 per cent of ejection fraction, combined with ventricular tachycardia
- A previous incident of sudden cardiac arrest
- History of sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death in the family
- Family or personal history of abnormal heart rhythms
- History of blood vessel abnormalities or congenital heart defects
- Ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia after a heart attack
- History of syncope
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Heart failure
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Significant changes in blood levels of magnesium and potassium
You should consult a heart specialist if you have any of the risk factors mentioned here. The doctor will suggest some diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause of the problem. They include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Ambulatory Monitoring
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Electrophysiology Studies
The following are some effective preventive methods:
Reducing your risk factors
You can reduce your risk of sudden cardiac arrest by making some lifestyle changes. You should:
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
- Follow a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Manage diabetes
- Manage cholesterol and high blood pressure
A heart doctor in Kolkata may prescribe medicines to reduce your risk of sudden cardiac arrest. This is particularly effective if you have had heart attacks or have arrhythmias or heart failure. ACE inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers and beta-blockers are some of the medicines. You may need to take statin drugs if you suffer from high cholesterol and coronary artery disease. The doctor will give you necessary instructions about when to take the medicines.
Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
The doctor may insert an ICD into your body if you have a greater risk for sudden cardiac death. The purpose of ICD is to correct arrhythmias. It corrects a fast heart rate after proper detection. It also monitors the heart rhythm constantly. It gives a small but powerful shock to the heart muscle if it detects very slow or fast heart rhythm. This makes the heart to beat again in a normal rhythm. The doctor can also get the record of each normal heartbeat from the ICD.
Interventional Procedures or Surgery
A cardiology doctor in Kolkata may decide to go for an interventional procedure such as angioplasty or bypass surgery if it is necessary for improving blood flow to the heart muscle and reducing the risk of sudden cardiac death. Catheter ablation and electrical cardioversion are some other procedures effective for t