What does Primary Cardiac Arrest Look Like?

Primary cardiac arrest is recognized by a sudden, unexpected, witnessed (seen or heard) collapse in an individual who is not responsive. Patients with primary cardiac arrest often gasp (an abnormal snoring-like respiration) which provides adequate ventilation, but indicates a cardiac arrest. If chest-compression-only CPR is provided, the individual often continues to gasp, and in such patients assisted ventilations are not necessary for prolonged periods of time,” says Dr. Gordon A. Ewy, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center and pioneer researcher of the world-renowned Resuscitation Research Group.

Secondary cardiac arrest is different because it results from a problem originating outside of the heart. For example, secondary cardiac arrest can result from drowning, narcotic-like drugs or respiratory (lung) failure. Remember, chest compressions plus breaths are preferred for people suffering from respiratory arrest due to drowning or drug overdose. ♥

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