Ivana Trump dies after suspected cardiac arrest – here’s what you should know about UK’s ‘biggest killer’
“A heart attack and cardiac arrest are not the same” – The British Heart Foundation iStock
According to the British Heart Foundation and Department of Health, an estimated 100,000 people die of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) each year, in the United Kingdom, a report in the Mirror states. This makes SCA, UK’s biggest killer.
Ivana Trump, 73, the former wife of former US President Donald Trump is reported to have passed away on Thursday in her New York apartment, following a cardiac arrest that supposedly caused her to fall down the stairs. She was found by the paramedics, unconscious and unresponsive.
Though the cause of Ms Trump’s death is yet to be officially determined, it is reported that the Fire Department of New York said the paramedics responded to a call for a cardiac arrest.
“ A heart attack and cardiac arrest are not the same,” says the British Heart Foundation.
However, a heart attack can sometimes trigger an electrical disturbance that leads to sudden cardiac arrest.
The Mirror reports that a cardiac arrest is when your heart suddenly stops pumping blood around your body. This causes the brain to be starved of oxygen, and it usually happens without warning.
The British Heart Foundation is quoted as saying, “A common cause of a cardiac arrest is a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF).
“VF happens when the electrical activity of the heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping.”
To treat cardiac arrest, immediate CPR is vital, affirms the British Heart Foundation. CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a life-saving technique that is performed when the heart stops. It keeps blood and oxygen circulating to the brain and around the body. A defibrillator will then deliver a controlled electric shock to try and get the heart beating normally again.
A defibrillator is defined as a device that sends an electric pulse or shock to the heart to restore its functioning.
Even though experts affirm that cardiac arrest strikes without any warning, there may just be some ray of hope, as an earlier study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, (an academic medical journal published by the American College of Physicians) suggests that sudden cardiac arrest may have warning signs after all. This information was mentioned in a report that was featured in CBS News in 2015.
Cardiologist Dr Sumeet Chugh is reported to have said their research, which included 839 patients between the ages of 35 and 65, found that many patients experience warning symptoms in the days or weeks before having a sudden cardiac arrest.
It was discovered that about half of the patients who have a sudden cardiac arrest first experience symptoms like shortness of breath, palpitations, irregular chest pain, and pressure, or ongoing flu-like symptoms such as abdominal pain, back pain, and nausea.
It is reported that 80 percent of them ignore their pre-arrest symptoms.
Dr Chugh told CBS News, “When these symptoms happen, in about half the people who have SCA, the vast majority don’t act upon the symptoms, and that’s very perplexing.”
The pumping action of the heart stops with SCA, which stops the blood flow to the rest of the body. It is fatal about 90 percent of the time, the report stated.
“The prognosis for sudden cardiac arrest is really dismal,” said CBS News medical contributor and cardiologist Dr Tara Narula. She is reported to have said, “The most important thing is not to minimize or ignore the symptoms, especially if they are symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath, and especially if you have risk factors for coronary heart disease, which causes 70 percent of cardiac arrest.”
The main causes of cardiac arrest according to the British Heart Foundation include:
- A heart attack (caused by coronary heart disease)
- Cardiomyopathy and some inherited heart conditions
- Congenital heart disease
- Heart valve disease
- Acute myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)