Victims Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest May Be Missing Life-Saving Warning Signs

First Posted: Dec 24, 2015 07:27 PM EST

Victims of sudden cardiac arrest may be ignoring lifesaving warning signs for up to a month before the health event occurs, according to a recent study.

The new findings suggest that about half of cardiac arrest patients experience telltale signs of cardiac arrest, ranging from chest pain and pressure, shortness of breath and heart palpitations to back pain, nausea and abdominal pain.

"By the time the 911 call is made, it's much too late for at least 90 percent of people," said Dr. Sumeet Chugh of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, who led the study reported in Annals of Internal Medicine, according to Yahoo News."There's this window of opportunity that we really didn't know existed."

Statistics show that close to 350,000 people in the United States die from cardiac arrest every year, according to the Amercan Heart Association. Unfortunately, for those who experience warning signs, less than one in five actually seek out emergency medical assistance.

"Chest pain, shortness of breath - those are things you should come in the middle of the night to the emergency department and get checked out," said Callaway, who chairs the American Heart Association's emergency care committee, via U.S. News and World Report. "We strongly recommend you don't try to ride it out at home."

During the study, researchers examined close to 840 patients between the ages of 35 and 65 whose symptoms were tracked before they experienced a cardiac arrest between 2002 and 2012.

Findings showed that about 50 percent of men and nearly 53 percent of women experience warning signs for a certain period of time before the health event occurs.

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