Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Heart attacks and the majority of strokes are very similar: a blood vessel gets blocked up, and the down-stream tissue begins to die from lack of oxygen. When the heart stops pumping - either because it is not contracting at all or because it is quivering in a dis-organized manner - we call it a sudden cardiac arrest.
Please see http://www.slicc.org/AMI-CVA-SCA.m4v for a more complete description and some illustrations.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the number one killer in the U.S.A. - it kills more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, motor vehicle crashes, and homicides, combined.
Sudden cardiac arrest must be treated by using chest compressions to maintain the blood flow to the brain until the heart is re-started by electricity or chemicals.