Apr 6, 2014
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Cardiac arrest occurs when the pumping action of the heart stops. This may be because the heart stops beating (see ASYSTOLE) or because the heart muscle starts contracting too fast to pump effectively (ventricular systole, the period when the heart contracts). Coronary thrombosis is the most frequent cause of arrest. Irreversible brain damage and death result without prompt treatment. Heart massage, defibrillation and artificial respiration are customary treatment. Other causes of cardiac arrest are respiratory arrest, anaphylactic shock and electrocution. Up to one-third of patients treated in hospital whose heart rhythm is restored recover to an extent that enables them to return home. (See APPENDIX 1: BASIC FIRST AID – Cardiac/respiratory arrest.)

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Medical Dictionary

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