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Recognizing the warning signs of cardiac arrest

January 03, 2019 - 3:00 am
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KYW’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Sudden cardiac arrest is not as sudden as you would think. 

More than 50 percent of the patients who get sudden cardiac arrest have at least some warning signs in the weeks before. This is important because those who recognize the symptoms and reach out for medical help have a fivefold chance of avoiding the devastating consequences. 

We know the symptoms: any combination of chest pain or tightness, pressure on the chest, shortness of breath, even flu-like sensations such as nausea, back pain and abdominal pain. 

The major lesson out of this study may be that in public education we need to consistently talk about these symptoms and the importance of not waiting for help. 

Time is crucial and we need to get out in front of this — get help as soon as possible.