According to the British Heart Foundation a “cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops pumping blood around your body.”
This can be caused by a number of reasons:
- Cardiac i.e. Heart related issues
- Lack of oxygen i.e. asphyxiation
- Use of drugs
- Natural end of life
In the US “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” as a term is reasonably common, but in the UK it is not so widely known even in medical circles. We use it to distinguish our group from the other causes
In the UK you will often see a cardiac arrest referred to as being either “in hospital” or “out of hospital”. The addition of the location to the name is probably due to the nature of the event in that an “in hospital” one is more likely to be treated immediately than an “out of hospital” event where lay people are likely to be the first on the scene.
Sudden Cardiac Arrests are often confused with a heart attack and you can learn about the differences here.