Cardiac Arrest is a very serious medical emergency.
As opposed to a heart attack which involves blood supply to one specific area of the heart is cut off, cardiac arrest is characterized by the entire heart muscle ceasing beating. This can occur seemingly out-of-the-blue, with few if any warning signs. It is often said that the first warning sign of a cardiac arrest is the cardiac arrest itself. More than 350,000 of these events occur outside of hospital settings in the United States each year. A large percentage of these are fatal due to their suddenness and intensity. As a family caregiver, however, it is important to realize that cardiac arrest can be treated. If urgent steps are taken immediately, there is the potential for recovery.
Steps that should be taken after cardiac arrest include:
CPR. In order for a cardiac arrest victim to survive, oxygen flow must be restored. Immediate use of CPR promotes continued blood flow to the body’s organs. This is especially critical if there is no AED available. If you suspect your senior has suffered a cardiac arrest, immediately begin CPR and continue until emergency medical services have arrived
Defibrillation. Most public areas now have an AED available. This is a machine that provides defibrillation or shocks designed to stimulate the heart into beating again. It is important to follow the instructions of this machine exactly in order to provide these valuable shocks safely
Emergency medical care. Once your senior has arrived at the emergency room, urgent measures will be taken to stabilize their heart rhythm and manage the source of the cardiac arrest, if it can be identified. Other emergency heart issues could be in play, including a heart attack, heart failure, or severe electrolyte imbalance. If you’re senior is suffering any of these, the medical team will treat them promptly
Long-term care. Ongoing care for an elderly adult who has suffered a cardiac arrest will include identification of the cause of the cardiac arrest and treatment to manage that cause. These treatments could include drug therapy or surgical procedures. The medical team will also offer recommendations for preventative measures and lifestyle changes to promote a healthier lifestyle that increases heart health.
Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions you make as a family caregiver. The highly personalized services of a senior home care services provider can be exceptionally beneficial not just for your parents, but also for you. An elderly adult with access to personalized care is able to live the life that is right for them, stay safe and healthy, and enjoy more independence while managing their individual needs and challenges. For you as their caregiver, knowing your parent has access to this care relieves your stress, and allows you to make the most of the time, energy, and effort you have for them and for all others who rely on you.