what every parent must know about sudden cardiac arrest

What Every Parent Must Know About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest can strike anyone. Usually, people think that it is a middle to old age issue. However, even a child can have a sudden cardiac arrest. Oftentimes, parents do not even know that their kids are cardiac patients. That is why we suggest regular checkups and maintaining a healthy body

Parents need to be careful if they or their kids have any cardiac medical history. It is better to keep a check on your kid’s overall health and if you feel something abnormal, you should consult the doctor. At the same time, do not panic as it is a big cardiac condition that can not be the case with every child. 

God forbid if the child still gets a sudden cardiac arrest so you should know what immediate medical treatment you have to give to save the kid’s life. First of all, you must have basic knowledge about ‘sudden cardiac arrest’.

Sudden Cardiac Attack

What Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

A condition that suddenly stops the heart functioning. It usually happens when a cardiac event triggers an instant loss of blood flow to all body parts. It can lead to death in a shorter time if medical treatment is not given on time. 

More often it happens with child athletes, but you can not categorise it. It can happen with any child. Other health issues associated with sudden cardiac arrest in kids are,

  • Coronary Artery Anomalies
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Long QT Syndrome

Two Types Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest


  • Ventricular Fibrillation (VF)

It is the most common type of cardiac arrest in kids. It usually occurs when there are swift, uncoordinated contractions of the ventricles, which pumps blood via the heart to give oxygen required by the body. VF causes lesser or no blood flow. 

The kid could be unconscious and stop breathing immediately. If not treated on time, it will lead to brain damage which can cause death.  Therefore, it is important to keep your brain healthy

  • Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

It kind of sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and triggers quick contractions. In children, it can be caused by a congenital heart defect or some infection that weakens the heart muscle. In this situation, instead of efficient blood flow in the body, it starts pooling in the heart. Consequently, enough blood doesn’t pump to the brain, kidneys and other body organs. Children become confused or become unconscious and eventually stop breathing.

Parents should be aware of the things to do in sudden cardiac arrest to save their kid’s life.

Two Types of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

What To Do In A Child’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Check If There Is A Responsiveness

If the kid has lost consciousness, you should tap or shake the child gently. Meanwhile, call the medical emergency number. Check movement in the chest to ensure the child is breathing. Make sure you do not leave the child even for a second until the medical help arrives if you are alone.

Open An Airway

  • Put your hand on the child’s forehead and extend their neck back to straighten the air passageway, choking on their tongue.
  • Keep your ear next to the child’s mouth to check if they are breathing. If you do not feel air moving, pinch their nose and cover their mouth with your mouth.
  • Give two slow breaths until your chest rises.

If you do not see the child’s chest rise and fall with each breath, or any other sign of breathing. Immediately start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Open an Airway

Check Pulse Rate

If there is an absent pulse and the child is unable to breathe properly, give CPR with chest compressions and save breaths.

Keep checking for life signs and administering CPR till the time help arrives (at least 5 minutes). If you see any sign of life, stop CPR and check for other problems. 

These are the things parents should do at the time of the child’s sudden cardiac arrest. However, there are things which parents should not do at all.

Things To Avoid At The Time Of The Sudden Cardiac Arrest


First of all, do not panic! It is not necessary that the kid has got a cardiac arrest. It could be something else that is less scary and life-threatening. Such as respiratory failure or heart attack. If so, CPR can help a lot until medical professionals arrive. 

Things To Avoid Child Sudden Cardiac Arrest


If you or your family has cardiac disease history, make sure you regularly visit the doctor if it has persisted in your kid too. Rest, you should take care of the following things:

  • Get your kid’s EKG exam every year
  • Be careful with the medication, it should be not skipped or delayed
  • Instil safety habits in your kid, such as wearing a helmet while bicycling, skating, etc.
  • Avoid deep injuries
  • Let your child sit away from the airbag seat to prevent airbag injuries.

Things to avoid child sudden cardiac arrest

In The End


If your kid has some symptoms of cardiac problem, get your kid checked yet do not overestimate things. If you will panic so your kid will be unable to handle the health issue too. Moreover, do not let your kid feel like a patient. This can impact his/her lifestyle and viewpoint of considering life. Moreover, stay alert, take full precautions, and keep all the actions in mind to save a life from a child’s sudden cardiac arrest. For more health-related blogs, keep visiting our website. 

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