sudden cardiac arrest

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(a-rest') [Fr. arester fr L. arrestare, to stop]
1. The state of being stopped.
2. To bring to a stop.

active phase arrest

Cessation of the progress of labor despite treatment with appropriate doses of oxytocin. It is an indication of the need for cesarean delivery.

bradyasystolic arrest

Cardiac arrest marked by an extremely slow pulse, usually less than 30 beats/min. This can be due to increased vagal stimulation, progressive heart block, hypoxemia, drugs such as beta blockers, or other causes.

cardiac arrest

Sudden cessation of functional circulation. In the U.S., about 1000 people die daily as a result of cardiac arrest. Synonym: cardiopulmonary arrest; sudden cardiac arrest See: arrhythmia; myocardial infarction


Coronary artery disease is present in most victims. Cardiac arrest is usually caused by myocardial infarction or ventricular arrhythmias. Contributing causes include cardiomyopathies, valvular heart disease, diseases of the electrical conducting system of the heart (such as the long QT syndrome or the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome), myocarditis, chest trauma, severe electrolyte disturbances, and intoxications with drugs of abuse or prescribed agents, e.g., digitalis. Physical exertion or extreme emotional stress sometimes precipitates cardiac arrest.


Abrupt loss of consciousness, followed by death within an hour of onset, is the typical presentation of cardiac arrest.


Opening the airway, establishing effective respiration, and restoring circulation (with chest compression and defibrillation) are the keys to treating cardiac arrest. The effectiveness of treatment depends upon the speed with which resuscitation begins and upon the patient's underlying condition. Because most episodes of sudden cardiac arrest are unwitnessed, most patients die without treatment (spontaneous recovery from cardiac arrest in the absence of advanced cardiac life support is very rare). For resuscitated patients, therapies include implantable defibrillators, beta blockers, antiarrhythmic drugs, and, in patients with coronary artery disease, modification of risk factors, i.e., treatment of hypertension, smoking cessation, and lipid-lowering diets and drugs. See: table, advanced cardiac life support

* IO=intraosseous † IV=intravenous cannula ‡ ET=endotracheal
Peripheral IVEasiest to insert during chest compressions; least traumatic to the patient.Drugs infused into a peripheral vein take several minutes to reach the heart.
Central IVDrugs and fluids infused into central veins reach the heart in seconds.Insertion may be difficult during chest compressions, intubation, and defibrillation. Arterial injury, pneumothorax, hemothorax, and other complications are common in emergency insertions.
IntraosseousDrugs and fluids infused into marrow reach the central circulation rapidly.Clinical experience with IO* insertion is limited relative to IV† insertion.
EndotrachealMay be used for drug administration when an airway is present, but other forms of access have not been established.Double or triple the IV† dose is needed to achieve similar drug effect. Drugs given ET‡ should be diluted in 5–10 ml of sterile water. Correct placement of the ET tube must be confirmed before use. Unlike the other modes of access, this route cannot be used to infuse high volumes of fluids.

cardiopulmonary arrest

Cardiac arrest.

cleavage arrest

In embryology, an obstruction to or a halt in cell division.

deep hypothermic circulatory arrest

Abbreviation: DHCA
The induction of profoundly low body temperatures, e.g. 20°C (68°F), during surgery to reduce the impact of low organ perfusion and ischemic damage.

epiphyseal arrest

Cessation of the growth of long bones.

pelvic arrest

A condition in which the presenting part of the fetus becomes fixed in the maternal pelvis.

pulseless arrest

An umbrella term for asystole and pulseless electrical activity.

respiratory arrest

Cessation of spontaneous respiration.

sinus arrest

A condition in which the sinus node of the heart does not initiate impulses for heartbeat. If this condition persists, it usually requires implantation of a permanent cardiac pacemaker.
See: artificial cardiac pacemaker

sudden cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
If patients with bi-directional ventricular tachycardia triggered by exercise or patients with sudden cardiac arrest display an autosomal dominant inheritance, sequence analysis in the RyR2 gene is recommended.
But those who had a sudden cardiac arrest during s3x were just as likely to have a heart condition or be on heart medication as those who had a sudden cardiac arrest at other times.
Although the population of patients studied are different and could not be compared with each other, this frequency of sudden cardiac arrest during sex is less than the number of people dying suddenly during strenuous exercise or other physical activities.
When you consider it takes on average eight minutes for paramedics to reach somebody suffering sudden cardiac arrest, it becomes clear why having easily accessible AEDs in public places is so important.
Sudden cardiac arrest kills 100,000 people in the UK every year and a defibrillator deployed within the first few minutes is crucial for a fighting chance at survival.
The prospective, non-randomized, multicenter study will build local clinical evidence to identify already indicated ICD/CRT-D primary prevention patients with additional risk factors that put them at a highest risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
Neil's sister Christine Stephenson and widow Kelly decided to provide defibrillators after discovering the Arrhythmia Alliance's Hearts and Goals campaign, fronted by former Bolton Wanderers star Fabrice Muamba, who almost died when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie at Spurs' ground.
Research published online in Circulation suggests that, among patients who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, of those who met the criteria for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), only 13% had received one.
"I had a Filipino heart patient whose father and brother died of sudden cardiac arrest in their forties and thirties respectively," Dr Kurian said.
Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the international panel of experts said there should be consistent standard in care available to players who need urgent medical attention for injuries or conditions such as sudden cardiac arrest.
Department of Homeland Security grant to combat our nation's leading cause of death: sudden cardiac arrest.