Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

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mrag
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Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by mrag » December 27th, 2015, 1:18 pm

I've now seen that headline posted in like 5 different places and always considered it pure click bait. But it popped up again in the semi respectable, left wing Huffington Post so thought I'd reference it here. Not that most of us here need worry anymore about cardiac arrest...
Sudden cardiac arrest may not always be so sudden: New research suggests a lot of people may ignore potentially life-saving warning signs hours, days, even a few weeks before they collapse.
Cardiac arrest claims about 350,000 U.S. lives a year. It's not a heart attack, but worse: The heart abruptly stops beating, its electrical activity knocked out of rhythm. CPR can buy critical time, but so few patients survive that it's been hard to tell if the longtime medical belief is correct that it's a strike with little or no advance warning.
An unusual study that has closely tracked sudden cardiac arrest in Portland, Oregon, for over a decade got around that roadblock, using interviews with witnesses, family and friends after patients collapse and tracking down their medical records.
About half of middle-aged patients for whom symptom information could be found had experienced warning signs, mostly chest pain or shortness of breath, in the month before suffering a cardiac arrest, researchers reported Monday. The research offers the possibility of one day preventing some cardiac arrests if doctors could figure out how to find and treat the people most at risk.
"By the time the 911 call is made, it's much too late for at least 90 percent of people," said Dr. Sumeet Chugh of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, who led the study reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. "There's this window of opportunity that we really didn't know existed."
Importantly, a fraction of patients considered their symptoms bad enough to call 911 before they collapsed, and they were most likely to survive.
Full article at the link cited above.
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" S Hawking

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Ozchrissy
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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by Ozchrissy » December 27th, 2015, 6:56 pm

It is really good to see the focus slowly changing to SCA, it is much worse than heart attacks and often referred to as such. To think that one day they may be able to identify those at risk is brilliant. I always get annoyed with the press when they get it wrong and really want to yell at the news when they describe a young person collapsing at a sporting event as a 'heart attack'. Luckily the awareness has risen and finally most sporting clubs and public venues over here now have external defibrillators, but it has taken a while.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” Carl Jung

Diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 10/99
LBBB & VT diagnosed Feb 06
Guidant Biventricular Pacer ICD inserted Feb 06: Boston Scientific Incepta CRT-D inserted May, 2012
Oesophageal Cancer, 2012, Gall Bladder & Septicemia 2014 resulting in VFib and severe heart damage
Bare Metal Stent May, 2012 Mitral Valve replaced 2015
Meds: Entresto, Bicard, Coralan, Eurtorxsiq, Frusehexl, Spiractin, Sigmaxin, Creon, Warfarin,
Appropriate Shocks for Ventricular VFib.

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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by mykidsmom » December 27th, 2015, 7:07 pm

the first two cardiac arrests i had....i had no warning signs at all.....but then i was undergoing a csection, the 2nd time i was asleep....but the 3rd and following 4 cardiac arrests i did have a warning....the warning was a sorta pinching sensation in my side and my stomach felt like it was doing bellyflops.....then i woke up......the second time ...i felt the side pinching sensation and thought...oh i wonder.....but by the time it was about to happen the 3rd time about 4 hrs later i knew and i said im leaving again.......and when the fourth one happened and i got the side sensation again...i said to willie.........here we go again.....and i blacked out...and on the 5th i remember saying ....awwww shit......i had about 1 1/2 between each arrest that night...and each time the device worked its miracle.....but willie said nevertheless i was out for about 3 mins each time...which i guess when your looking at someone like this can feel like an hour

Im not sure which was worse..the not knowing or the knowing....and i say that because of the effect it had on poor willie...i knew it was about to happen..maybe i should have just kept my mouth shut..
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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by slk123 » December 27th, 2015, 7:59 pm

I've read some of the articles that have been reporting on SCA warnings and all I have to say is I usually have had some kind of chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath. I just always thought that was normal, and everyone else experienced it, too. Little did I know it had something to do with my heart. But, even though I was diagnosed back in the '80s, my SCAs didn't happen until 2014.

At least they are trying to get some more information out there. Hopefully they will have more reliable information....and hopefully it comes with some parameters such as those who have been diagnose with heart issues may have these symptoms....and those without diagnosed heart issues may have these symptoms. At least something to differentiate those who already know of their heart issues and those who don't.
Best wishes,
Stacey

CHF Jan 2016
ICD Nov 2014
LBBB Nov 2014
Sudden cardiac arrest Nov 2014
Arrhythmia Aug 1982

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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by TruckerRon » December 27th, 2015, 8:52 pm

Half an hour before his SCA my brother complained to a friend (over the phone) that he was having trouble sustaining the high notes on his trumpet but could play the lower passages just fine.

A week before my SCA I noted that I could play my clarinet just fine but my bass clarinet was requiring a bit more effort than usual to sustain long, low notes (at age 56) than it used to when I was 18.

Other than that, neither of us experienced any shortness of breath or other SCA warning symptoms while swimming, playing tennis, or bike riding. Go figure.
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Colin Pearson
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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by Colin Pearson » December 28th, 2015, 6:31 am

I had palpitations on and off for years.

This led to anxiety.

After a while they then said it was nothing to do with my heart and it was just anxiety. Funny that, a previous heart event and the palps pre-existed any anxiety.

When I eventually had an SCA, there was no warning that I perceived except for the palpitations for which I had been told for years were anxiety. That certainly brought on a bout of severe anxiety!

I've had several more SCA's since having the ICD and for which the ICD has done its thing. As before though the only pre-cursor was that the palps get worse before hand.

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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by mrag » December 28th, 2015, 11:06 am

MedPage Today just publish a similar article. Minor point, they say
More than 550,000 community and in-hospital cardiac arrest occur each year in the U.S. accounting for more than half of annual cardiovascular deaths
Same main 'symptoms' of shortness of breath and chest pain though. Worthwhile reading and it's short.

Interesting closing paragraph.
"This may be particularly helpful in patients with known heart disease because instant transmission of point-of-care electrocardiograms and the development of automated algorithms could enable comparison with baseline recordings stored in mobile devices," they wrote. "Further, using immediate geolocalization to find the closest automatic external defibrillator is technically feasible and potentially beneficial in this setting. Thus, targeted public education to enhance timely reporting of symptoms and develop appropriate response strategies may lead to new paradigms for short-term prevention of SCA."
I know where the "closest" one is already.

Now tell me, if you didn't already have an ICD, wouldn't you almost be inclined to go buy one?
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" S Hawking

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Colin Pearson
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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by Colin Pearson » December 28th, 2015, 11:17 am

Good question.

If you were stinkingly rich and getting on a bit, it may be something you'd consider.

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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by slk123 » December 28th, 2015, 11:54 am

Seems to me the medical field needs have more reliable devices to seek out the problems in our hearts. And it needs to do a better job of educating the primary doctors. I'm pretty sure my primary doctor would have chalked up my symptoms as anxiety, too, just like Colin's.
Best wishes,
Stacey

CHF Jan 2016
ICD Nov 2014
LBBB Nov 2014
Sudden cardiac arrest Nov 2014
Arrhythmia Aug 1982

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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by ROBO Pop » December 28th, 2015, 1:10 pm

My friend's SCA was preceded by a warning...the sound the shotgun made when his wife jacked a round into the chamber.

Get realistic. Just like symptoms of a pending MI, the warning signs are too innocuous and easily ignored. Were all of my adventures silent or did I just not notice? I really dont think this "discovery" is beneficial. SCAs should be scheduled in advance.
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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by Grammaram » December 28th, 2015, 1:48 pm

I have found the "anxiety/depression" answer to be a "wastebasket" diagnosis - the result of exhausting all other possible diagnoses with empirical or reproducible evidence. Unfortunately, even though the answer can't be found, that doesn't mean the condition doesn't exist, and eventually it shows up - sometimes with devastating consequences. THEN the pieces fit together, and a correct diagnosis is given. I think this happens far too frequently for those who don't fall in the "textbook" category- those with conditions outside the realm of conventional medical training.
That being said, anxiety and depression are very real conditions diagnosed through specific criteria and treated accordingly. My gripe is that far too often it becomes an inappropriate diagnosis of convenience and the real issue remains untreated. There is a big difference between a CLINICAL diagnosis of anxiety/depression and a period of FEELING anxious or depressed because of physical symptoms that cannot be explained. Whatever the source, however, both need treatment. (I'm sure there are MANY other posts on the need of psychological care in conjunction with treatment of heart disease.)
When I first started having significant heart rhythm issues (which were confirmed with ER visits and EKG monitoring), I first approached my primary physician, who prescribed an appropriate medication for control. On follow up, I continued complaining of these events, that they were impacting my life and my ability to work. As I was in an HMO at the time (which required a referral to see a specialist), his response to my request to see a cardiologist was that he felt he could "manage" it, and that maybe I was just "depressed". (Now to put this in perspective, in this particular HMO, there was a financial incentive to the doctor NOT to send patients to specialists; turns out they were paid a certain amount for each patient, but had to pay out of that for specialist visits.) After another ER visit (with EKG documentation), I was finally given the cardiology referral and received an accurate diagnosis and treatment. (I also dropped the HMO!)
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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by freckles1880 » December 28th, 2015, 1:57 pm

My events did have some signs. I thought I had the flu. No pain, some shortness of breath just before the event and while my wife was on the phone to the doctor, no real tightness in the chest but I was really weak. Once at the doctors I passed out as they were putting me in an ambulance. Three weeks later I learned that I had had a heart attack and had to be shocked several times plus had a quad bypass.
Several weeks earlier I was in my neighbors yard tearing down her shed. It was very hot and humid, I was sweating a lot, I got dizzy, sat down a while, then back to work.

Regular physicals and blood work had not shown I had issues.

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Bob

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Major heart attack, carcinogenic shock and quad bypass 10-13-08 post myocardial infarction, old inferior MI complicated by shock and CHF, combined, Atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic Aneurysm, Seroma 7 cm, left leg. Stent in the left main vein 10-7-2014

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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by madison » December 28th, 2015, 2:24 pm

Naughty, naughty, naughty Bob. We are doing SCA's here, not plain old heart attacks. Watch out as Chrissy could be aiming for some sensitive parts if you mix the two. Then again, maybe that's not a big deal to you. Happy Holidays All
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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by freckles1880 » December 28th, 2015, 5:25 pm

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I was reluctant to put in my statement but there are so many symptoms that are alike. When I read the articles I noted that so many heart issues do not really show up until it's too late. Or the symptoms are not what we think they are. I will try to keep on the correct topic in the future, please don't kick butt report me.

wavhi
Bob

Medtronic-Visia AF implanted 7-8-2016 stayed with the with 6947 Sprint Quattro Secure lead. Original ICD implant 2-4-2009. ICD turned off 10-6-17 as stage 4 lung cancer taking over.
Major heart attack, carcinogenic shock and quad bypass 10-13-08 post myocardial infarction, old inferior MI complicated by shock and CHF, combined, Atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic Aneurysm, Seroma 7 cm, left leg. Stent in the left main vein 10-7-2014

My "Wardens" are my bride of 54+ years and my daughters.

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Re: Cardiac Arrest Victims - ignoring Life-Saving Warning Signs?

Post by Ozchrissy » December 28th, 2015, 7:43 pm

whewsmile whewsmile There is no way I would do anything physical to our dear Bob, except give him a big cuddle. So you are safe and you point is valid. Prior to my getting my ICD, I already had cardiomyopathy and good arteries, I kept on having dizzy spells and actually passed out and fell down my back steps. This lead to a visit to the ER to make sure I hadn't damaged my brain. whewsmile I was sent to the big Hospital in Bendigo (I was living in Echuca a river town about 1 hour away) and was locked up for 2 weeks while they assessed me and also they had to complete the Cath Lab as it was brand new, and I was the first in my area to get the CRT-D. This was in 2006 and with my current cardiologist. As it turns out, it was more my low ef and my LBBB that they were concerned about. Of course no SCA appeared on any monitors because as we all know they do their own thing and do not appear unless they want to impress us. Unfortunately this did not occur, but I was very lucky as the other factors indicated that I needed the ICD.

So in actual fact I have never had an unprotected SCA. In a way they did predict this occurring, due to the state of my heart, but there was no evidence to support my rhythm issues. Now I realize I was having runs of VT when I got light headed, and when I blacked out it probably was VT again or even VF but luckily resolved on its own.

Again I was lucky, I didn't experience a SCA while not safe, so unlike many on here, again someone up there was looking out for me. I really have been very fortunate.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” Carl Jung

Diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 10/99
LBBB & VT diagnosed Feb 06
Guidant Biventricular Pacer ICD inserted Feb 06: Boston Scientific Incepta CRT-D inserted May, 2012
Oesophageal Cancer, 2012, Gall Bladder & Septicemia 2014 resulting in VFib and severe heart damage
Bare Metal Stent May, 2012 Mitral Valve replaced 2015
Meds: Entresto, Bicard, Coralan, Eurtorxsiq, Frusehexl, Spiractin, Sigmaxin, Creon, Warfarin,
Appropriate Shocks for Ventricular VFib.

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