What Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating, and it no longer pumps blood to your body.
Cardiac arrest isn't the same as a heart attack.
In a heart attack, blood flow to your heart muscle gets blocked, causing part of your heart muscle to die. During cardiac arrest, your heart stops completely.
Cardiac arrest leads to death if someone doesn't get your heart restarted within minutes.
Sudden cardiac arrest causes and risk factors
Many people who have cardiac arrest don't know they have a heart problem.
Sudden cardiac arrest often happens because of a problem with the heart's electrical system. The heart beats too fast and irregularly, a problem called ventricular fibrillation.
Some heart conditions can increase the risk of cardiac arrest, including:
Illegal drugs — such as opioids, cocaine, and amphetamines — can also increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
Why choose UPMC for heart rhythm care?
The UPMC Cardiac Electrophysiology Program provides complete services and care to people with heart rhythm problems.
With advanced imaging techniques and a range of minimally invasive treatments, our program is the largest of its kind in western Pennsylvania.