Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) generally occurs abruptly without any clear indication which is why it can be regarded as “silent killer”. However, in several cases sudden cardiac arrest is not fatal and patients survive and come out of the deadly situation with the help of immediate medical attention and effective CPR given at the right time.
Following are 5 methods generally used in diagnosing cardiac arrest:
Electrocardiogram is a test used to detect and record the electrical activity of the heart. The main reason behind cardiac arrests is the heart’s unresponsiveness towards electrical impulses. This test informs the doctors whether your heart is going through any type of arrhythmia responding inadequately to the heart’s electrical system. ECG will manifest the condition of your heart by diagnosing the timing and strength of the electrical impulse in addition to recording heart rhythm. ECG test also provides details about coronary heart diseases and discloses any history or potential risk of heart attack.
Echocardiogram is an imaging test that clearly reveals structural situation of the heart by using Doppler ultrasound and 3D illustration of the heart. Cardiomyopathy, the enlargement of heart is one of the major causes of SCA due to abnormal activity of the cardiac muscles. Echo helps to find out presence of any abnormal valves and structural changes in the heart.
Like Echo, cardiac MRI also helps in presenting the clear image of the heart demonstrating condition of the valves and other essential parts of the heart. However, unlike Echo, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and magnets producing still and moving images of the heart. This helps doctor to predict the function and detailed structure of the SCA victim’s heart.
#4: Blood Test
SCA can be caused due to abnormal levels of magnesium and potassium in the blood. This is because these substances are highly responsible for the heart’s adequate electrical signaling. Deficiency in any of them can greatly affect the heart by disturbing heart’s electrical signals in turn leading to arrhythmia. Doctors recommend blood test to identify the levels of magnesium and potassium in the blood. Also, blood tests expose the amount of other associated hormones, chemicals and hemoglobin level which would help doctors to determine the main cause behind victim’s SCA.
This particular test using angiogram is commonly done to identify the cause behind Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). The process is also known as “coronary catheterization” in which a thin tube (catheter) is used to inject a liquid dye into the arteries. The dye is easily visible on X-ray and it indicates the areas of blockage. Any clot or blockage of artery could be the reason behind SCA due to the presence of CHD.
Cardiologists observe the test results using the above most common methods and provide with the adequate treatment to the victim of SCA. This reduces the chance of further deterioration of the heart muscles and aids in improvement of overall heart’s health.