Dr K K Aggarwa
Never ignore warning symptoms in heart patients
Sudden death is preceded by symptoms in preceding one hour in 80% cases
Dr K K Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Warning symptoms often precede the sudden cardiac arrest event in a large number of patients, but symptoms may be unrecognized or minimized by patients, and subsequent ascertainment of symptoms is often limited, particularly in patients who do not survive the event.
In addition, patients who have sudden cardiac arrest and are resuscitated often have a retrograde amnesia and hence do not remember events or symptoms that may have been present.
In most studies 51 percent patients have warning symptoms within four weeks preceding SCA and eighty percent of patients experience symptoms at least one hour before sudden cardiac arrest and 34 percent having symptoms more than 24 hours before the arrest.
Chest pain (46 percent), dyspnoea (18 percent) and 4 dizziness, fainting, or palpitations ( 4%) are the most common symptoms, with women more likely to have dyspnoea than chest pain (31 versus 24 percent).
Patients with symptoms concerning for cardiac disease, particularly new or unstable symptoms, should seek prompt medical care for potentially life-saving evaluation and treatment.