What Are Cardiac Arrest Symptoms?

Article Details
  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Cardiac arrest is a medical term given to the sudden loss of heart function. The most common cardiac arrest symptoms include a sudden collapse and loss of consciousness. This is typically followed by a loss of pulse and cessation of breathing. In most cases, cardiac rest occurs suddenly and with no warning. In some cases, the patient may experience symptoms such as chest pain or dizziness before collapsing.

Most patients who suffer from cardiac arrest do not have any warning signs, so if warning signs do present themselves, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately. The most commonly reported cardiac arrest symptoms include chest pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Some patients may faint or partially lose consciousness.

Sudden fatigue, muscle weakness, or vomiting are potential cardiac arrest symptoms as well. Heart palpitations or the development of a rapid heartbeat may be present, with or without chest pain. In cases where cardiac arrest symptoms are present, collapse typically happens shortly after the symptoms develop.

Urgent medical attention is required any time that cardiac arrest symptoms are suspected. Death can occur within minutes of collapse if proper medical treatment is not obtained. Once at the hospital, any supportive care that is deemed necessary is given until the patient is stable enough to undergo medical testing. This supportive care may include oxygen therapy or the connection to a machine that regulates the patient's heartbeat.


Medical tests are often performed when a patient experiences potential cardiac arrest symptoms. Blood tests can determine whether the cardiac enzymes in the blood are abnormal and can help to detect various other heart-related problems. An electrocardiogram, or ECG, is frequently used in order to monitor the electrical activity of the heart. Other tests, such as x-rays or an ultrasound of the heart, may be deemed necessary as well.

A patient who has experienced cardiac arrest symptoms is generally monitored in a hospital setting for a few days to make sure that the medical crisis is over and that the patient's health is stable. Care givers are often taught the proper way to perform CPR in case the symptoms return. Prescription medications or surgical intervention may be needed, depending on the underlying cause of the cardiac crisis. The patient may be advised to obtain a portable defibrillator, a small machine designed to send electrical shocks to the heart if the heart stops. Any questions or concerns about potential symptoms of cardiac arrest should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?