Most cardiac arrests occur when a diseased heart’s electrical system malfunctions. This malfunction causes an abnormal heart rhythm such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Some cardiac arrests are also caused by extreme slowing of the heart’s rhythm (bradycardia).

Coronary artery disease is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death, accounting for up to 80% of all cases. Cardiomyopathies and genetic channelopathies account for the remaining causes. The most common causes of non-ischemic sudden cardiac death are cardiomyopathy related to obesity, alcoholism, and fibrosis

Can sudden cardiac arrest be prevented? Death is best treated by prevention. Most sudden death is associated with heart disease, so the at-risk population remains males older than 40 years of age who smoke, have high blood pressure, and diabetes (the risk factors for heart attack).

Ventricular fibrillation disrupts the heart’s pumping action, stopping blood flow to the rest of the body. A person in sudden cardiac arrest will collapse suddenly and lose consciousness, with no pulse or breathing

Common heart attack signs and symptoms include: Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain. Shortness of breath.