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Understanding the Causes of Cardiac Arrest

Last updated 4 years ago

Cardiac arrest can happen unexpectedly with fatal complications. This emergency event occurs when a disruption of the heart’s electrical signals causes its beating function to stop. When the heart doesn’t beat, it cannot supply oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body, which can lead to death in minutes. Northside Hospital urges our St. Petersburg residents to familiarize themselves with the causes of cardiac arrest and seek help should they have concerns regarding them.

Structural Problems

Form can dictate function when it comes to heart health. If the structure of the heart is not normal, it can obstruct the organ’s efforts to generate electrical signals. Structural abnormalities can occur in many ways. A heart infection can potentially change the makeup of the tissues that comprise the heart. Hypertension, which increases stress on the heart, can also cause it to grow in size. Both circumstances can compromise the electrical workings of the heart.

Cardiac Disease

Cardiac arrest and heart attacks are two distinct medical conditions, but the latter can lead to the former. A heart attack can cause heart tissue can die and scar tissue to take its place. This scar tissue cannot carry electrical signals the way that healthy heart tissue can, which can make it harder for the heart to function as it normally would. In many cases, heart attacks occur as the result of plaque accumulation in the arteries. This plaque can deteriorate cardiovascular health in multiple ways. By narrowing the arterial pathways and weakening the arterial walls, plaque accumulation can heighten the risk of an arterial rupture or blockage that causes a heart attack.

Abnormal Heart Function

Four chambers, two ventricles and two atria, make up the heart. Each of these chambers works to move blood through this organ. In some people, though, the ventricles cannot function as needed to push blood to the rest of the body. Cardiac care experts refer to this circumstance as ventricular fibrillation. Without the regular contraction of these chambers, the heart can go into cardiac arrest.

Are you heart healthy? Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg and The Heart Institute can see to it that you enjoy a future free from serious cardiac events. Call (888) 598-9586 today to find out more about cardiac arrest and ways to prevent this major heart condition.


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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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