Medical Definition of Sudden cardiac arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest: A medical emergency with absent or inadequate contraction of the left ventricle of the heart that immediately causes bodywide circulatory failure. The signs and symptoms include loss of consciousness; rapid shallow breathing progressing to apnea (absence of breathing); profoundly low blood pressure (hypotension) with no pulses that can be felt over major arteries; and no heart sounds.
Cardiac arrest is one of the greatest of all medical emergencies. Within several minutes, there is lack of oxygen (tissue hypoxia), leading to multiple organ injury. Unless cardiac arrest is quickly corrected, it is fatal.
The most common causes of cardiac arrest are electrical problems in the heart with ventricular fibrillation representing the major type. In ventricular fibrillation, there is loss of coordinated ventricular contractions leading to immediate loss of effective output of blood by the heart, resulting in circulatory arrest.Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016
Top RxList Drug News
- New Guidelines Released on Pediatric Obesity and Stigma
- FDA Expands Approval of Sutent to Reduce the Risk of Kidney Cancer Returning
- FDA Approves New Treatment to Prevent Bleeding in Certain Patients with Hemophilia A
- FDA Approves Treatment for Rare Genetic Enzyme Disorder
- FDA Grants Marketing of the First Device Helping to Reduce the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
Find out what women really need.