Individuals with a family history of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the
Persons with hypertension (high blood pressure).
(4) Diabetes mellitus sufferers (body produces too little insulin, person very
thirsty, and eats too much).
Those with elevated blood cholesterol.
Persons with preexisting heart disease.
Individuals who have premature ventricular complexes.
b. Changing the Risk Factor. Some risk factors cannot be changed: age, sex,
race, and heredity. Other major risk factors, however, can be changed: cigarette
smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol levels. The most important
single cause of preventable death in the United States (US) is cigarette smoking. This
habit begins and contributes to arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and sudden
death. Those who stop smoking return to the level of nonsmokers very rapidly.
Hypertension (high arterial blood pressure) contributes to coronary artery disease,
stroke, and heart failure. Control of hypertension makes a difference on whether or not
a person survives cardiovascular problems. Research indicates that high total
cholesterol levels increase the risk of coronary artery disease. Diet modification can
lower the total cholesterol level thus decreasing the incidence of heart disease. A
change to positive health behaviors can decrease the risk factors of cardiovascular
MAJOR SIGNS OF CARDIAC ARREST
Cardiac arrest, the cessation of heartbeat, can occur for a variety of reasons.
The major signs that the heart has stopped beating include sudden loss of
consciousness, absence of pulse and respirations, cyanosis, and dilated pupils.
Additionally, the dysrhythmias of cardiac arrest seen on a monitor include the following:
a. Ventricular fibrillation--an irregular and chaotic ventricular arrhythmia with a
rapid rate and disorganized spread of impulses throughout the ventricular myocardium.
b. Ventricular tachycardia--abnormally rapid ventricular rate with broad QRS
complexes and a rate between 100 and 200 beats per minute.
c. Asystole--absence of heartbeat.