Sudden cardiac death, also known as cardiac arrest or sudden
heart failure is the cessation of normal circulation of the blood
due to failure of the heart to contract effectively, and if this
is unexpected can be termed a sudden cardiac arrest or SCA.
Sudden heart failure is different from (but may be caused by) a
heart attack, where blood flow to the muscle of the heart is
Arrested blood circulation prevents delivery of oxygen to the
body. Lack of oxygen to the brain causes loss of consciousness,
which then results in abnormal or absent breathing. Brain injury
is likely if cardiac arrest goes untreated for more than five
minutes. For the best chance of survival and neurological
recovery, immediate and decisive treatment is imperative.
Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that in certain situations
is potentially reversible if treated early. When unexpected
cardiac arrest leads to death this is called sudden cardiac death
(SCD). The treatment for cardiac arrest is cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) to provide circulatory support, followed by
defibrillation if a shockable rhythm is present.
Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart
and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While
various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of
our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology
highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and
vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.