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Can Cardiac Arrest Be Prevented?

Cardiac arrest occurs when your heart suddenly stops functioning. Loss of heart function is due to an electrical malfunction in your heart caused by an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia). Because your heart cannot pump normally, blood cannot reach the brain, lungs, and other vital organs in your body. Cardiac arrest is fatal if treatment is not received within minutes.
If you have recently had a heart attack or have severe coronary heart disease, you are at a high risk for cardiac arrest. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk and help prevent the chances of cardiac arrest.
Your doctor may recommend taking heart medication—most commonly, beta blockers. Statin treatment is another possible prevention method your doctor may discuss with you. This treatment is a group of drugs that lowers cholesterol levels in your blood by reducing the production of cholesterol in your liver. 

In combination with taking medications regularly, your doctor will advise that you make lifestyle changes. Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle can lower your chances of cardiac arrest. This means following a healthy low-sodium diet, exercising regularly, and stopping unhealthy heart habits such as smoking tobacco and consuming alcohol. 
Other prevention treatments that can reduce your risk of cardiac arrest include procedures such as coronary angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention, or coronary artery bypass.

Discuss your treatment options with your doctor so that you can find what works best for you. 

Last Updated: April 25, 2016

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