Sudden cardiac arrest may not always be so sudden.
In a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013, more than half of 567 men who experienced cardiac arrest had prior symptoms. Most of the symptoms — including chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, faintness or palpitations — occurred four weeks to one hour before their hearts suddenly stopped.
In the United States, only 9.5 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive.
People who immediately get CPR and a defibrillator to shock the heart back to a normal rhythm have a better chance of survival.