Study: Warning Signs of Cardiac Arrest Often Ignored
Warning symptoms are often present before sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) but are frequently ignored, according to a recent study.
Rates of survival after SCA are low, and methods for predicting long-term risk are lacking. Therefore, researchers explained, short-term preemptive risk prevention methods are greatly needed.
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In order to better understand the presence of symptoms in the month before SCA, researchers conducted an ongoing prospective population-based study of 839 patients (age 35-65 years) with SCA.
Overall, 430 patients had warning symptoms before their SCA, including chest pain and dyspnea. Of these 430, 93% saw their symptoms recur within 25 hours before SCA. Despite this, only 81 patients called emergency services before SCA occurred. These were more likely to be patients with a history of heart disease.
Survival when emergency services were called was 32.1% compared to only 6% in those who did not call.
“Warning symptoms frequently occur before SCA, but most are ignored,” they concluded.
“Emergent medical care was associated with survival in patients with symptoms, so new approaches are needed for short-term prevention of SCA.”
Marijon E, Uy-Evanado A, Dumas F, et al. Warning symptoms are associated with survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Ann Intern Med. December 2015 [epub ahead of print]. doi:10.7326/M14-2342.