Senior experts at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) have said that seven out of 10 patients suffering from cardiac arrest can be saved if they are given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in time.
Professor Aditya Kapoor, head of cardiology department at the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), said: “A sudden interruption in electrical impulses causes the heart to stop beating. This condition is called SCA. As the heart stops supplying blood to the brain and other vital organs, the brain starts to die within three minutes. If the blood supply is not restored, patient’s death is certain.”
He said that late President APJ Abdul Kalam could have been saved had someone in the audience at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, performed CPR when he suddenly collapsed while delivering a lecture.
He said that the same thing happened in the case of actress Reema Lagoo.
The doctor further said that sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), kills about two million people every year in India.
“Besides, automated external defibrillator (AED) machines are available at public places, malls, and schools,” he added.
“SCA is different from heart attack. In case of heart attack, circulation of blood in the heart stops due to blockage and patients experience chest pain, or discomfort that spreads to the shoulder, arm, back, neck, jaw, teeth or sometimes the upper belly. Besides cold sweat, fatigue, heartburn or indigestion and dizziness can also be symptoms. In SCA, patients collapse suddenly with no pulse and breathing.”
Professor Kapoor said SCA could occur to anyone, anywhere regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or physical fitness.
“People with genetic predisposition due to an unknown heart defect, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking, are prone to get it,” he added.
“Only CPR trained bystanders can save the life of an SCA patient outside hospital facility. CPR helps blood to reach the brain so it should be conducted till medical help arrives,” the cardiologist said.
He urged people to learn CPR added that hands-only CPR is as good as mouth-to-mouth CPR.
He said SCA patients should be tapped on face and shoulders to check response. Thereafter, one should check pulse and breathing.
“If pulse and breath is missing, CPR should be started and continued till medical help arrives,” he added.