Cardiac Arrest

What is it?

A cardiac arrest is a sudden stop in effective blood circulation due to the failure of the heart to contract effectively or at all by a blood clot.

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  • chest pain – a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the centre of your chest
  • pain in other parts of the body – it can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to your arms (usually the left arm is affected, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and abdomen
  • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
  • an overwhelming sense of anxiety (similar to having a panic attack)
  • coughing or wheezing
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  • Coronary heart disease (CHD)

  • Smoking/Alcohol

  • Diet

  • high blood pressure/diabetes

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Lack of exercise

  • Age and gender 

  • Family history

  • Ethnicity

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  • medication (aspirin, heparin, ticagrelor or bivalirudin)
  • Coronary angioplasty
  • bypass surgery
  • Morphine
  •  initial treatment with medications
  • Medication to break down blood clots(reteplase,alteplase,and streptokinase)
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Physical impact

On the indivdual 

  • Exercise- won’t be able to do much anymore 
  • Scars from surgery 
  • Difficult to have sex after a cardiac arrest 
  • Having high blood pressure 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Palpitations

On the family 

  • Tired 
  • They won’t look after themselves as much anymore
  •  They put the patient wellbeing in front of theirs


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intellectual impact

On the indivdual 

  • Fear of having another heart attack 
  • Having the feeling of being close to death 
  • Medication- have to be on them for the rest of their life 

On the family 

  • Think it their fault for them having a cardiac arrest 
  • Wont be able to control the person 
  • May not be able to look after them as well as the health professionals 
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Emotional Impact

On the indivdual

  • Stressful 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 

On the family 

  • Feel sorry for them
  • Guilt- from telling them about their diet
  • Stress 
  • Horrible 
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
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Social Impact

On the indivdual 

  • Won’t be able to catch up with friends in activities you used to do
  • Find it difficult to talk about their experience of being ill 

On the family 

  • Won’t be able to go out without think the patient could be un well
  • Won’t want to go out because of them feeling tired 
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Financial impact

On the indivdual

  • Might have to leave work or retire from work early 
  • Be living of benefits to support their family 
  • Partner of parent have to be on sick pay to look after the person 

On the family 

  • May have to leave work to help support the person who had a cardiac arrest 
  • Might have live on benefits 
  • Might have to skip a day off work to take the patient to their appointment 
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