Legendary actor Sridevi passed away on Saturday night in Dubai. Reportedly, she suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Her demise came as a surprise to everyone as she had presumably been living a healthy life.

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Her death has caused panic among people as it is difficult to believe how a healthy person can also suffer a cardiac arrest.

It is important that you know that even if a person does not have any history of a heart condition, he or she still could still get a cardiac arrest due to blockage in their arteries.

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Most of us think that a heart attack and cardiac arrest are same. But they are two very different things. While in a heart attack the heart only partially loses the ability to pump blood, a cardiac arrest completely disrupts the heart's ability to pump blood. Cardiac arrest strikes immediately without warning and it is more dangerous than a heart attack.

Also, a person suffering from a heart attack can go on for minutes to few hours in that condition, and yet survive. If someone has suddenly collapsed, is not breathing normally, it is a case of cardiac arrest, and within seconds, he/she might die.

Heart attack gives you around an hour to take the patient to a hospital. But someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest doesn't have that much time.

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Since the two conditions are different, it is imperative to know the symptoms of a cardiac arrest.

  • No pulse
  • Sudden collapse
  • Lack of breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

If you witness someone having a cardiac arrest, there is no time to lose. You should take immediate action as the patient, in this case, just has a few 'golden' seconds. Call the ambulance as soon as possible.

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Till the ambulance arrives, patient should be given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It is a life-saving technique and involves hard pressing on the chest with hands, with the speed of 120 compressions per minute.

You can also prevent the occurrence of a cardiac arrest by following some simple tips.

  • Get yourselves screened for heart diseases, especially if you have a family history.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle such as, eating a nutritious and balanced diet.
  • Stay physically active by exercising daily.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol.
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Stress is also a major contributing factor. So take a deep breath, relax, take time off, lead a healthy life.