Unlike many other diseases, sudden cardiac arrest can feel so random. It’s a scary proposition to think that an “electrical” failure of your heart can occur in which you’re going about your business and then you simply collapse after experiencing chest pain, palpitations or shortness of breath.
The bad news first: Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone.
The good news – and yes, there is some – you may be able to have less of a chance of encountering SCA if you are aware of certain risk factors in advance. Take a closer look. Frankly, you can’t afford not to.
First, let’s review what happens during a sudden cardiac arrest event: Most frequently, SCA occurs when your heart has an issue with its electrical system that regulates the heart’s rhythm. If that rhythm has a consistently irregular rate in which the heart beats too fast or too slow, also referred to as an arrhythmia, you can find yourself entering an episode of sudden cardiac arrest soon after.
What’s In Your Control?
More than you think, actually. Because while we can’t predict when sudden cardiac arrest will happen in someone, we do know that there is a fairly strong connection between sudden cardiac arrest and coronary artery disease. For our purposes, we’re not going to speak to other risk factors you can’t control, such as your age, gender and family history.
Instead, we want to focus on those risk factors you CAN tackle, such as the following:
You don’t have to be told that smoking is bad for you and your heart, do you? Well, it definitely is and the potential impact can be life-threatening in bringing on coronary artery disease.
- Poor Diet And Exercise
You order an array of high-sodium foods when you get home from work, which happens to be a job you sit in a chair in for the better part of eight hours per day. And by the way, you hit the snack machine a couple of times a day there too. When sedentary lifestyle meets a lackluster diet, the combination on the heart can be deadly, with negative effects in the way of obesity and high blood cholesterol. It can also create major nutritional imbalances that wreak havoc on your potassium or magnesium levels.
- Stress, Stress, Stress.
As noted in another recent article, stress can come in many forms and it’s rarely directly from your job. You can control the effects that stress has on your heart – and body overall – by beginning to track when the episodes of stress occur and how you feel when it does. This way, you may be able to head off more occurrences of stress before they happen, leading to better outcomes on your heart.
- Quality of Sleep
We continue to see articles that cite how people who don’t get sufficient, uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis are at risk for heart-related emergencies such as sudden cardiac arrest – particularly those who don’t get at least 6.5-7 hours of sleep per night. In addition, if you have sleep apnea, you may be experiencing obstructions in breathing that could cause big problems for your heart without you even knowing it during the night. Get this checked out to ensure your heart health isn’t at risk if you believe you may suffer from sleep apnea.
- Drinking and Drugs
Those who use drink heavily and use illegal drugs are almost certainly inviting more of a risk of sudden cardiac arrest, what with the constant stress being put upon the heart in association with their use.
Here’s one more thing you can control – knowing exactly what to do when someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
How? Just choose SOS Technologies, the #1 trainer and supplier in the Midwest for life-saving equipment such as AEDs, pads and batteries. In fact, during Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month, we’re running outstanding specials on these very items. Then turn to one of our safety consultants to get your entire team properly trained on administering CPR and how to operate an AED too. You can set it all in motion today when you call SOS at 888.705.6100.