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Sudden Cardiac Arrest | St. Vincent's HealthCare

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Uploaded on Dec 9, 2011

People who have weak heart muscles from heart attacks are usually at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

Living in the South, chances are you've lived through a major storm...The power goes out and you end up in the dark. It's a similar scenario tow hat can happen during sudden cardiac arrest whent eh electrical system in your heart goes out.
But just like having a back-up generator, an internal defibrillator can help you survive.
Dr. Arne Sippens Groenewegen talks about sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of defibrillators.



QUESTION 1: WHO IS AT RISK FOR SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST?
Answer 1: Patients with a pre-existing weak heart because of a prior heart attack or because of high blood pressure or a viral infection that created a weak heart muscle.

QUESTION 2: TELL US WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR PATIENTS WITH A WEAK HEART?
Answer 2: Many patients can benefit from pacemakers or defibrillators...devices that are implanted to resynchronize the heart if a life threatening arrhythmia occurs.

QUESTION 3: DR. SIPPENS, YOU CAN ACTUALLY MONITOR HEART RYTHMS REMOTELY? DEMONSTRATE HOW THIS WORKS.
Answer 3: Patients have a unit at their house which plugs into a phone jack in the bedroom and it communicates wirelessly with the device. The information gets downloaded from the device to the unit and a dial up connection is created to the internet and the server will download data. Physicians have access to it and are notified if there is a problem. In the future, we will have the capability to download information using a cell phone.

QUESTION 4: WHAT TYPES OF SCREENINGS CAN BE DONE TO SEE IF YOU HAVE A WEAK HEART?
Answer 4:
• Echocardiogram
• Electrocardiogram
• Know Your EF (Ejection Fraction) -- It's the percentage of blood squeezed out of the left ventricle with each heartbeat. If it's below 35%, there's a risk for SCD.
QUESTION 5: WHAT IF A PATIENT HAS A HEART ATTACK BUT AFTER 5 OR 10 YEARS FEELS FINE? COULD THEY STILL BE AT RISK?
Answer 5: Even 10 years after their initial heart attack and the scar that developed and created the weak heart, they still have a risk for a life threatening arrhythmia. We recommend they see a doctor or cardiologist to get screened.

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