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Cardiac Arrest Victims Usually Ignore Warning Signs

Update Date: Dec 28, 2015 09:52 AM EST

Cardiac arrest appears like a random and an unexpected occurrence but a recent study tells us that it comes with a number of advanced warning signs.

According to an Oregon-based study on sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), people with cardiovascular conditions actually have a four-week window to escape death if they read and take the life-saving signs seriously.

"There's this window of opportunity that we really didn't know existed," exclaimed Dr Sumeet Chugh, the main author of the research as quoted saying by The New Daily.

In the United States alone, about 350, 000 people die from SCA every year. Cardiac arrest happens so abruptly that there is hardly enough time to save a struggling patient from imminent death. It was a previously held belief among medical experts that there were no telltale signs for SCA until now.

"Chest pain, shortness of breath - those are things you should come in the middle of the night to the emergency department and get checked out. We strongly recommend you don't try to ride it out at home," told Clifton Callaway of the American Heart Association's emergency care committee as mentioned by The Huffington Post.

The study involved the thorough examination of medical records of 1, 100 people who experienced cardiac arrests between 2002 and 2012.

A quarter of the examined records yielded no information as to the symptoms manifested by the patients prior to the attack. However, half of the remaining data showed that some of the aforementioned symptoms appeared at least a month before.

However, only 19% bothered to call 911 about their symptoms mostly from patients with recurring SCA symptoms due to an existing cardiovascular condition. For those who called 911, they had a survival rate of 32% compared to 6% for other patients as stated by EMS1.

"It's certainly challenging to find the right signal through all the noise but these signs should not be ignored, particularly if you have risk factors for heart disease, such as a family history of heart problems or high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes or a known heart condition," advised Dr. John Day of Heart Rhythm Services at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah as quoted by

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