cardiac arrest

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sudden cessation or stoppage.
cardiac arrest see cardiac arrest.
epiphyseal arrest premature arrest of the longitudinal growth of bone due to fusion of the epiphysis and diaphysis.
maturation arrest interruption of the process of development, as of blood cells, before the final stage is reached.


1. pertaining to the heart.
2. pertaining to the ostium cardiacum.
cardiac arrest sudden and often unexpected stoppage of effective heart action. Either the periodic impulses that trigger the coordinated heart muscle contractions cease or ventricular fibrillation or flutter occurs in which the individual muscle fibers have a rapid irregular twitching. The majority of victims of cardiac arrest suffer from ventricular fibrillation, and most have severe coronary artery disease. The only chance for survival for many who have unexpected cardiac arrest is successful implementation of emergency cardiac care and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Reduction of the incidence of cardiac arrest and sudden death is a major concern of the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross.

Programs aimed at achieving the goal of reduced mortality from cardiac arrest include education of the general public in ways to avoid the development of coronary artery disease in the first place, and secondarily, training lay people and health care professionals and paraprofessionals in the techniques of CPR and emergency cardiac care.

Although cardiac arrest usually is related to preexisting coronary artery disease, there are other events in which the prompt delivery of CPR alone could mean survival for the victim. These include the cessation of heart and lung action as a result of drowning, suffocation, electrocution, drug overdose, and severe accidental trauma.
cardiac catheterization the insertion of a catheter into a vein or artery and guiding of it into the interior of the heart for purposes of measuring cardiac output, determining the oxygen content of blood in the heart chambers, and evaluating the structural components of the heart. It is indicated whenever it is necessary to establish a precise and definite diagnosis in order to determine whether heart surgery is necessary and to plan the surgical approach.
A, Right-sided heart catheterization. The catheter is inserted into the femoral vein and advanced through the inferior vena cava (or, if into an antecubital or basilic vein, through the superior vena cava), right atrium, and right ventricle and into the pulmonary artery. B, Left-sided heart catheterization. The catheter is inserted into the femoral artery or the antecubital artery. The catheter is passed through the ascending aorta, through the aortic valve, and into the left ventricle. From Ignatavicius and Workman, 2002.
Patient Care. Patients scheduled for cardiac catheterization experience a high level of stress. They are fearful and anxious because the procedure involves the heart, has a potential for some rather serious complications, and could indicate a need for cardiac surgery. Prior to the catheterization the patient will need to know that it is not a surgical procedure, even though a consent form must be signed, food and fluids are restricted, and a surgical preparation of the catheter insertion site is done. The patient should be told of these and other preparations as well as the physical features of the laboratory in which the catheterization is to be done.

During the initial assessment it is important to find out whether the patient has any allergies. The contrast medium used contains iodide salts; if a patient is allergic to iodine or seafood, a contrast medium that does not contain iodine must be used, or antihistamines must be administered before the procedure. A mild tranquilizer or hypnotic may be given just before the procedure to help the patient relax, but a general anesthetic is not used. Patients need to know that they must be awake and cooperative during the procedure. They will be asked to stay in a certain position, cough, breathe deeply, and possibly exercise so that the heart's response to an increased workload can be evaluated. They should be reassured that the laboratory staff is ready and equipped to handle any emergency should the need arise.

Ideally, preprocedure visits by the physician and a member of the staff in the cardiac catheterization laboratory will provide patients with the information they need about the procedure, its purpose, and potential complications. However, because of anxiety the patient may not be able to assimilate the information and will have many questions not asked at the time of the visits. It is then the responsibility of the floor nurses to answer questions as honestly as they can and to provide emotional support and reassurance.

After the procedure the vital signs are checked periodically. It is especially important to check the pulses distal to the insertion site every half-hour for three hours, or as often as required by protocol, to be sure there has been no clotting and obstruction of a blood vessel. The insertion site dressing is changed as needed and the site inspected for signs of infection. Thirst and diuresis are expected because of the effect of the dye used in the procedure. The patient should be encouraged to drink fluids to prevent hypotension and hasten excretion of the dye, which is potentially nephrotoxic. Mild discomfort also is expected and should respond to the prescribed analgesic. If the patient experiences severe pain the physician should be notified.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

car·di·ac ar·rest (CA),

complete cessation of cardiac activity either electric, mechanical, or both; may be purposely induced for therapeutic reasons.
Synonym(s): heart arrest
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

cardiac arrest

1. Sudden cessation of heartbeat and cardiac function, resulting in the loss of effective circulation.
2. An instance of this: personnel who deal with cardiac arrests at sports events.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

cardiac arrest

Asystole Cardiac pacing Complete cessation of the heart's normal and rhythmic electrical and/or mechanical activity
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

car·di·ac ar·rest

(CA) (kahr'dē-ak ă-rest')
Complete cessation of cardiac activity either electric, mechanical, or both; may be purposely induced for therapeutic reasons.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

cardiac arrest

Complete cessation of the normal heart contractions so that the pumping of the blood stops. In about 30 percent of cases the heart muscle is motionless (asystolic); in the remainder it is in a state of quivering, ineffectual fluttering (ventricular fibrillation). Asystolic cardiac arrest is treated by intravenous injection of VASOPRESSIN alone or followed by ADRENALINE; ventricular fibrillation is treated by electrical defibrillation.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Cardiac arrest

A condition in which the heart stops functioning. Fibrillation can lead to cardiac arrest if not corrected quickly.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

car·di·ac ar·rest

(CA) (kahr'dē-ak ă-rest')
Complete cessation of cardiac activity.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about cardiac arrest

Q. WHAT IS CARDIAC ARREST why do people have IT?

A. cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood. stops working. it can happen in a few cases:
1) it doesn't get oxygen and there for a part of it dies and make the whole heart stopping- heart attack.
2) in electric shock it may cause the electric pulse that generate movement in the heart to stop.
3)from harsh septic shock.
4) from any shock actually :).

More discussions about cardiac arrest
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References in periodicals archive ?
He said that regular check-ups could detect early symptoms of cardiorespiratory arrest and could be avoided on time.
In some cases, ADH deficiency might go unnoticed as the clinical picture is masked by oliguric AKI secondary to the hypoperfusion/shock state following cardiorespiratory arrest. Other patients might not live long enough to manifest the clinical picture of polyuria and hypertonic dehydration.
Cardiorespiratory arrest following combined spinal epidural anaesthesia for caesarean section.
His death certificate listed causes of death as cardiorespiratory arrest, previous cerebrovascular accident, aspiration of a piece of meat and cardiac arrthythmia.
The cause of death was given as brain damage was given as brain damage and cardiorespiratory arrest.
Finally, James went into cardiorespiratory arrest and died.
Faculty and residents in all three groups of specialists at Stanford (Calif.) University responded to an 11-question anonymous survey covering four critical knowledge areas concerning parturient resuscitation after catastrophic events leading to cardiorespiratory arrest:
Before he could be transferred to the intensive care unit, he underwent cardiorespiratory arrest, and aggressive resuscitation attempts were not successful.
The ER physician knew immediately that Jordan was in shock and was very close to cardiorespiratory arrest. He also noted Jordan's belly to be hard, distended and with absent bowel sounds ...
An important change in the law is the extension of the donor pool to include people who die of sudden cardiorespiratory arrest or asystole.
He has experienced three seizures, and went through a cardiorespiratory arrest when he was 2 years old.
The most common reactions to DEET poisoning are nausea, brain swelling, cardiorespiratory arrest, scarring skin rashes, muscle cramps, seizures, irritability, and lethargy.